United States Ambassador to Afghanistan

United States Ambassador To Afghanistan

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United States Ambassador to Afghanistan

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The United States Ambassador to Afghanistan is the official representative of the President of the United States to the head of state of Afghanistan.

The United States recognized Afghanistan, then under the rule of King Amānullāh, on July 26, 1921. Diplomatic relations were established in 1935. The first ambassador appointed to Afghanistan was William Harrison Hornibrook, who was concurrently commissioned to Persia, as Iran was known then, and resident in Tehran. Until 1942, the U.S. Ambassador to Persia/Iran was also the Ambassador to Afghanistan. The U.S. Legation at Kabul was established on June 6, 1942, with Charles W. Thayer as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim. Cornelius Van Hemert Engert presented his credentials to the government of Afghanistan on July 2, 1942, as the first envoy solely accredited to Afghanistan.

Ambassador Adolph Dubs was assassinated in a botched kidnapping attempt in 1979. For the next ten years no ambassador was appointed; only a series of chargés d’affaires represented the U.S. in Kabul. The embassy at Kabul was closed on January 30, 1989, due to concerns that the new regime would not be able to maintain security and protect diplomats following the final departure of Soviet forces from the country.

Following the ouster of the Taliban, the U.S. Liaison Office in Kabul opened on December 17, 2001, with Ambassador James Dobbins serving as Director. The...
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