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Marines move into U.S. Embassy in Kabul

Kabul, Afghanistan
The U.S. Embassy in the Afghan capital, Kabul, has been dormant since 1989.  


KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- A Marine detachment moved into the long-vacant U.S. Embassy in Kabul on Monday as Washington worked toward re-establishing diplomatic ties with Afghanistan.

The embassy could house a new corps of American officials in the Afghan capital, where an interim government is scheduled to take power December 22.

"The Marines are here to provide security for a State Department assessment team," said U.S. Army Maj. Victor Harris, a military spokesman in Kabul. "The assessment team is here to determine the viability of this facility for the future U.S. Embassy in Kabul."

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U.S. diplomats abandoned the Kabul embassy in 1989 amid the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. It was damaged in September in an anti-American protest.

U.S. troops inspected embassy grounds Monday for any unexploded ordnance and found none, officials said.

Last week, Secretary of State Colin Powell said Washington would have a diplomatic mission set up in Kabul by mid-December.

That mission is likely to be led by James Dobbins, the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan who was deeply involved in efforts to set up a post-Taliban government.



 
 
 
 



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