Statement on the Arrival of Special Chargé d’Affaires Ambassador Hugo Llorens (December 19, 2016)

December 19, 2016

Ambassador Hugo Llorens, Special Chargé d’Affaires, a.i, has assumed responsibilities as Chief of the U.S. Mission to Afghanistan.

Ambassador Llorens, who previously served as Assistant Chief of Mission in Kabul from 2012 to 2013, returns to Afghanistan to lead the U.S. Mission in its ongoing efforts to bolster Afghanistan’s embrace of democracy, augment its economic growth and political stability, and continue the country’s gains made in health, education, and gender rights over the last decade.  Ambassador Llorens succeeds Ambassador P. Michael McKinley, who completed more than 3 years of service in Afghanistan and departed Kabul December 18.

“Among the many places I have served in my Foreign Service career, Afghanistan has made a uniquely deep impression on me, and I feel lucky to have this chance to return and contribute to our two nations’ important partnership,” said Ambassador Llorens.  “I will give my all to building bridges of friendship between our people and to ensuring a better future for all Afghans,” he continued.

Ambassador Llorens, who is accompanied in Kabul by his wife, will oversee the United States’ unwavering efforts in Afghanistan throughout the ongoing transition between presidential administrations in Washington, D.C.  A particular priority for Ambassador Llorens will be working together with  Afghanistan to improve the rule of law and combat all forms of corruption that continue to impede the country’s progress.