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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2001 > November
Taken Questions
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 14, 2001
Taken Question from November 14, 2001 Daily Press Briefing

Afghanistan: Status of US Embassy (Taken Question)

Question: When did we last have a permanent US diplomatic presence in Kabul? Do we have Foreign Service National employees there? What is the current status of the US Embassy?

Answer: The U.S. ended the normal operations of its Embassy in Kabul and withdrew the American staff in early 1989 because of security concerns as Soviet forces left Afghanistan. The Chancery was sealed at that time. U.S. officials have occasionally visited Kabul in the years since and have visited the Embassy compound to check on its status, but they have not actually used Embassy facilities.

Afghan Foreign Service National employees continued to work at the Embassy following its closure. They endured severe hardship and danger for over a decade to remain at work, maintaining the Embassy and related properties around Kabul. Their behavior and performance has been a credit to them and to Foreign Service Nationals everywhere.

We understand that the Embassy building has suffered some damage over the past several weeks, particularly in late September when a mob entered the compound and burned one of the outbuildings and several abandoned vehicles.


Released on November 14, 2001

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