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Afghan-US Relations


Afghanistan and United States of America share a common destiny in fighting terror and tyranny and
a deep rooted history of friendship and partnership. The first contact between Afghanistan and the
United States of America occurred in the 1830's when a Pennsylvania adventurer, Josiah Harlan,
traveled throughout the region, meeting Afghan both Shah Shuja and Dost Mahommed Khan. Shortly
after Afghanistan regained its independence from Britain in 1919, King Amanullah, the reformist
monarch of Afghanistan, dispatched General Wali Khan as the first Afghan envoy to Washington.

Full diplomatic relations between the Afghanistan and the United States began in 1934. Shortly after
the end of World War II, His Majesty King Zahir Shah dispatched Abdul Hussein Aziz as the first
Afghan Ambassador to the United States and President Roosevelt appointed William Hornibrook as
the first U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, on November 14, 1935.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower made history when he became the first U.S. President to visit
Afghanistan on December 9, 1959. It is reported that seeing Afghanistan had long been a dream of
President Eisenhower. Reflecting on his trip, President Eisenhower noted that he found the Afghan
people to be "the most determined lot I have ever encountered.” The first U.S. visit by an Afghan Head
of State took place in September 1963, when His Majesty King Zahir Shah on the invitation of
President John F. Kennedy. Throughout the successive decades, the U.S.-Afghanistan partnership
continued to grow, including the contribution of a dedicated group of Peace Corps volunteers between
1962 and 1979.

Sadly, the Afghan Embassy was not immune from the conflict that raged over the ocean within
Afghanistan. After the Taliban seized control of Kabul, representatives from competing factions feuded
over control of the Embassy building. Although the Taliban was not recognized by the United States,
their representative in Washington occupied the Embassy building until the summer of 1997,
whereupon the State Department officially closed the Embassy.

In January 2002, after the establishment of the Interim Afghan Administration, bilateral relations were
restored between Afghanistan and the United States. In an emotional ceremony, the Afghan flag was
once again raised outside the Embassy in the presence of then Chairman Hamid Karzai and U.S.

Afghan Consuls General in in New York from …. to the Present