Your Excellency Mr. Abilov, esteemed guests, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon and welcome. Thank you all for joining us today for the groundbreaking ceremony of the new U.S. Embassy compound.
You are standing on ground that in just a few months will see a new Embassy begin to take shape. From today on, as you drive by on Archabil Avenue, you will notice construction crews busy at work and you will see new buildings begin to pop up. By the end of 2018, a ribbon-cutting event will inaugurate the New Embassy Compound, which will house a new chancery and residences for our diplomatic corps within walking distance from the Ashgabat International School.
Today, we mark not just the beginning of a new construction period. This is not just another building project in Ashgabat. Our decision to build a new, bigger Embassy here is symbolic. The New Embassy Compound is an indication of our enduring commitment to Turkmenistan. Furthermore, the fact that we are building an entire compound means that we are constructing not just an office building, but a community. This compound will welcome families and strengthen our partnership with the school, the broader community, and the people of Turkmenistan as a whole.
We are investing in the future of Turkmenistan and hope that this compound will become a part of the greater Ashgabat community. I’ve repeated time and again that the United States is committed to supporting the sovereignty, stability, and independence of Turkmenistan, and this compound is a testament to that promise. With this groundbreaking event, we are further underscoring our long-term investment in Turkmenistan and our commitment to work together toward our mutual goals.
It is an honor for me to preside over this milestone event today and welcome you all to take the first glimpse at our new Embassy area. As you enjoy some of the refreshments here today, I invite you to take a look at the renderings and 3D images of the future New Embassy Compound we have on display. You’ll see the sheer scale of our task at hand and the extensive amount of planning that has already gone into this project. We hope you will all join us here in 2018 to celebrate its completion.