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NEW U.S. AMBASSADOR AND MILITARY COMMANDER FOR AFGHANISTAN

May 13, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With a new strategy in place for Afghanistan, President Barack Obama has appointed two new seasoned and experienced leaders for U.S. diplomatic and military efforts in Afghanistan.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry has taken on the post of U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan while Gen. Stanley McChrystal has been named to serve as the commander for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Ambassador Eikenberry presented his credentials to President Hamid Karzai on May 12, while Gen. McChrystal will assume his post upon confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

Both appointments were praised by Ambassador Said T. Jawad, Afghanistan's top envoy to the U.S. "Ambassador Eikenberry is the most skilled American for the post in Afghanistan. A hardened fighter and accomplished negotiator, he is well-versed in Afghan issues and conflicts," he said. "General McChrystal is a seasoned soldier known for his innovative thinking and action in unconventional battlegrounds."

Ambassador Jawad welcomed the two appointments as an important addition to President Obama’s team. "They are further strengthening President Obama's very capable foreign policy team in implementing the new U.S. strategy in coordination with their Afghan partners. I look forward to working with both of them," he stated.

Ambassador Jawad thanked outgoing Ambassador William Wood for his service to Afghanistan. "I am grateful for the commitment and friendship that Ambassador Wood brought to his post. He served Afghanistan and the U.S. admirably," he stated.

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