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Austria: Fischer Calls Upon Respect of Human Rights

Published: January 20, 2014; 18:00 · (Vindobona)

At the New Year Reception for the diplomatic corps in Austria, President Heinz Fischer called upon the strict compliance to human rights.

Ambassadors from 169 nations took part in the New Year Reception 2014; among them newly-appointed US ambassador to Austria, Alexa Wesner. Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz did not take part in the reception.

The Austrian President took stock of foreign related political affairs of the previous year. Fischer called upon a strict compliance to human rights and reaffirmed his strict position against death penalties in all countries. He announced to be cautiously optimisting in the progresses for a solution to the conflicts in the Middle East and thanked US Foreign Minister John Kerry, who recently had to face harsh criticism from Israel, for his efforts.

Moreover, the Austrian President urged that Ukraine, which is still struggling with violent fights between police forces and opponents of the government, was not a bone of contention between Europe and Russia but should be regarded as bridge between both regions. Fischer praised the initialling of the EU Association Agreement with both Georgia and the Republic of Moldova. Furthermore, he gave indirect praise to the Iranian foreign policy, which changed under President Hassan Rohani. According to Fischer, it was pleasing that “as of today the negotiating parties start with the realization of the Geneva Comprehensive Plan of Action for the Iranian nuclear program.”