Dedication Ceremony Remarks for Under Secretary Kennedy New Embassy Compound, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Mr. President, distinguished ministers, ambassadors, members of the diplomatic corps, guests, ladies and gentleman.  Good morning to you.

It’s a great pleasure for me to be in Santo Domingo today to help dedicate this marvelous new Embassy.  It is a symbol of the United States’ enduring commitment to the Dominican Republic, and to the strong friendship that exists between our two nations.

For those of you who visited our former embassy or consular facilities in Gazcue, I don’t need to tell you that this building represents a major, positive change and improvement.  We are delighted that this new, state-of-the-art complex will provide all of the resources needed to carry out the United States’ important diplomatic mission here.

We hope that this compound will be a comfortable and inviting place for our Dominican guests, as well as those from the United States and other countries.  For the first time in the Dominican Republic, we have a custom-built embassy rather than a diplomatic mission spread out among many different locations.  This is real progress — you won’t have to come to an obsolete Consulate anymore for visa, passport, or other services!

It is an honor today to be joined by several of my colleagues from the State Department, each of whom has played a key role in the efforts to get this building designed, built, and up and running.  I would especially like to thank Ambassador James W. Brewster and the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations’ Deputy Director Heather Townsend for all of your hard work — and that of your colleagues — in making this splendid new Embassy complex a reality.

I would also like to thank President Medina and the Government of the Dominican Republic for their support of this project from its earliest stages up to final completion.  Without their assistance, this facility would not have been possible.

In many ways, the move of the U.S. Embassy from its previous location to this beautiful new site, in the Altos de Arroyo Hondo section of Santo Domingo, mirrors the remarkable development of the Dominican Republic infrastructure in recent years.  We are proud of the role the United States continues to play in helping to build a better country for all Dominicans.

This new facility, constructed at a total cost of about $170 million, is a strong symbol of the U.S. government’s commitment to work with the Dominican Republic to strengthen our bilateral relationship in ways that will benefit both our nations.

We expect this complex will serve us well in coming years as we work together toward this goal.  I am honored that all of you have joined us today on this occasion.  May God bless the United States of America and the Dominican Republic.