Diplomatic Relations With Iraq: Austria's Embassy in Baghdad to be Reopened

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: August 11, 2022; 15:40 ♦ (Vindobona)

On 1 September, Austria's embassy in Baghdad will reopen after being vacant since 1991. Western diplomats had left the city at that time, including the Austrian ambassador.

Austria is reportedly to open an embassy in Baghdad again after more than 30 years. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons, Robert Smith, Public domain

Austria's representation in Baghdad has not been occupied since 1991. At that time, Western dipolmats, including the then Austrian ambassador, had left the city. Now the embassy is to be reopened on 1 September.

According to the "Kurier", which refers to "well-informed circles", the embassy is to be "housed in a protected, international area as a first step".

At present, there is no official confirmation. The website of the Austrian Foreign Ministry continues to state "The Austrian Embassy in Baghdad is closed for security reasons".

At present, consular duties for Iraq are performed by the Austrian Embassy in Amman, Yemen. Austrians in distress cannot be provided with consular assistance as long as they are on Iraqi territory.

Security level 6 applies to the entire country - "all travel is warned against!".For security reasons, the embassy was temporarily closed in 1991. Since then, there has been no Austrian representation in Iraq.

However, the Foreign Ministry announced in 2001 that the embassy was "never closed". An Austrian trade representation has been in Baghdad since then. The Austrian Embassy also appointed the trade delegate as its trade counsellor, according to the Foreign Ministry. As war loomed, the then trade delegate Franz Schröder left Baghdad at the beginning of March 2003.

A local security force will be hired for the reopened embassy, according to the "Kurier". A separate liaison officer will inform the Ministry of the Interior in Vienna about "current developments and the prevailing situation in Iraq", including immigration issues. The presence of Austria in Iraq will also be an advantage for Austrian companies and organizations.

BMEIA Federal Ministry for Europe Integration and Foreign Affairs