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Vienna International Diplomatic and Embassy News

Goals of Austria's OSCE Chairmanship 2017

Germany will chair the OSCE until the end of December and will then hand over to Austria in 2017. Austria will promote greater security and stability as well as the preservation of common values within the OSCE region.

August 31, 2016

What Role Should the OSCE Play in the Refugee Issue?

Possible roles for the OSCE in the context of the migration and refugee flows across the OSCE area were discussed at a special meeting of the Permanent Council in Vienna. The OSCE Permanent Council is one of the main regular decision-making bodies of the Organization bringing together representatives of all 57 OSCE participating States and the 11 Partners for Co-operation.

July 21, 2016

Austrian Ministerial Council Approves EUR 1.5 Mln for Iraq Humanitarian Aid and Resettlement

The Austrian Ministerial Council approves 1.5 million euros in funding for humanitarian aid and resettlement in Iraq. The humanitarian aid for the population in need on the ground and measures aimed at promoting resettlement are supposed to contribute towards managing the refugee crisis.

July 15, 2016

Austria Takes Over OSCE Chairmanship: "Need for Decisive Action!"

In his first address to the OSCE Permanent Council as incoming OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Austria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sebastian Kurz said that the fight against radicalization will be the main priority of Austria’s 2017 OSCE chairmanship. In first address to OSCE Permanent Council, incoming Chairperson-in-Office Austria’s Foreign Minister Kurz, stresses

July 14, 2016

OSCE: "Reliable, Affordable and Sustainable Energy Supplies are Prerequisite for Stability and Security"

Energy experts from the OSCE Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation, representing both government institutions and private sector companies, will begin a week-long field study of sustainable energy in Austria and Germany.

July 12, 2016

Western Balkans Summit was Held in Paris

Following the 2014 Western Balkans Summit in Berlin and the Vienna Western Balkans Summit of August 2015, the third Western Balkans Summit was held in Paris in the context of the ‘Berlin Process’. More than 500,000 of the people with migration background who live in Austria are from the region. Austrian companies have hundreds of branches or subsidiaries in the Western Balkans, which clearly illustrates the very close economic relations.

July 8, 2016

Western Balkans Countries Discussed Investment, Jobs and Integration in Vienna

The World Bank and the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw) held a high-level policy dialogue on ‘Investment, Jobs and Integration’ last week. Ministers and senior officials from the Western Balkans region as well as policy experts from international organisations and the business community gathered to discuss the challenges the region is currently facing, in particular the high unemployment rate, low international competitiveness, and lack of modern infrastructure.

July 8, 2016

Christine Muttonen Elected President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier today congratulated Christine Muttonen on her election as President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

July 6, 2016

India Facilitates Visa Scheme for Austrian Travellers

India has extended e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) scheme to the citizens of Austria. Under e-Tourist Visa scheme, citizens of Austria may now apply online four days in advance to obtain the Electronic Travel Authorization for traveling to India.

June 27, 2016

Human Rights of Refugees Must Also Be Protected

On the occasion of World Refugee Day, the OSCE and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) emphasized that any solutions to the refugee crisis in Europe must ensure the dignified treatment and protection of the human rights of all refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons and migrants.

June 21, 2016

Austrian Business Meets Foreign Diplomacy

In the context of the ‘Business meets Diplomacy’ series of events, representatives of the Austrian economy meet members of the foreign diplomatic corps for an exchange of views on Austrian business and the economy.

June 20, 2016

20 Years Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT): Ministerial Meeting at VIC

Marking the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), a Ministerial Meeting was held at Vienna International Center. Hosting some 40 international organizations, Austria is a hub for the promotion of peace, safety and security, sustainable development and the fight against crime, drug abuse and terrorism.

June 20, 2016

Central European Initiative Discusses Refugee Crisis in Banja Luka

Foreign Ministers of the 18 member states of the Central European Initiative (CEI) met in Bosnia Herzegovina, which holds the initiative’s annual rotating Chairmanship this year. Discussions mainly focused on the refugee crisis and potential solutions.

June 20, 2016

Expert Meeting in Vienna: "Make Migration a Resource for All"

Making migration a resource for public institutions, the private sector, local communities and migrants themselves was the main topic of an expert meeting on the long-term approach to migration governance, organized by the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA).

June 20, 2016

Symposium in Vienna: "Current Security Challenges for Europe: NATO, its Partners and the Warsaw Summit"

The upcoming summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Warsaw from 8th to 9th July 2016 sees the organization facing numerous challenges. The withdrawal of combat troops from Afghanistan and rising tensions in the European area – from the conflict in Ukraine to the migration crisis, effected the question of the role of NATO’s Partnership for Peace under the new circumstances. A conference in Vienna with the working title "Current Security Challenges for Europe: NATO, its Partners and the Warsaw Summit" intends to discuss these and other pertinent issues.

June 16, 2016

International Day of Yoga Celebrations in Vienna on 19th and 21st June

The United Nations General Assembly declared 21st June as the International Day of Yoga. The resolution adopted by the General Assembly invites everyone to observe that day as the International Day of Yoga. On occasion of the International Day of Yoga, the Embassy of India in Vienna is organizing the several events on 19th and 21st June, 2016.

June 15, 2016

OSCE Meeting in Vienna: "Empowerment of Youth Crucial in Preventing Violent Extremism"

Preventing and responding to the terrorist radicalization of youth north and south of the Mediterranean was in focus of the OSCE Mediterranean Contact Group meeting held in Vienna. OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier launched in 2015 the organization-wide campaign ‘OSCE United in Countering Violent Extremism’ to underscore that the OSCE stands together as one in countering violent extremism and radicalization leading to terrorism.

June 15, 2016

Mogherini Visits Vienna to Discusses Migration and Nuclear Disarmament Issues with Kurz

EU High Representative Federica Mogherini met with Sebastian Kurz in the margins of the CTBT Ministerial in Vienna on 13 June. Mogherini und Kurz stressed their support for the entry into force of the CTBT and the importance of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

June 13, 2016

Austria to Open Embassy in Tbilisi this Summer, Latvia to be Closed

Austria is soon to open an embassy in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, the Austrian Foreign Ministry informed journalists following a meeting between Kurz and his Georgian counterpart Mikheil Janelidze.

June 10, 2016

OSCE Representative Dunja Mijatović Awarded Concordia Prize for Press Freedom

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović was awarded the Concordia Press Club Prize 2015 in the category of press freedom and freedom of information. The Concordia Press Club decided to award Mijatović the prize given her personal dedication to press freedom issues in 2015.

May 2, 2016

Ban Ki-moon's Visit to Vienna to Highlights Austria's Seat of a Total of 37 International Organisations

In the context of his visit to Vienna UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon met Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz for a working discussion at the Foreign Ministry. Talks focused on the challenges Austria and Europe are currently facing, especially in connection with the refugee crisis and the fight against radicalization and terrorism. A further topic addressed was the important role played by Austria as the seat and headquarters of a total of 37 international organisations.

April 29, 2016

Ursula von der Leyen to Visit Vienna to Discuss Defence Issues

As part of an official visit to Vienna, Ursula von der Leyen, Minister of Defence of Germany, which currently holds the OSCE Chairmanship, will meet OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier. During their meeting, von der Leyen and Zannier will discuss the role of the OSCE focusing in particular on the crisis in and around Ukraine. They will also explore possibilities to strengthen the OSCE and its capabilities.

April 29, 2016

Minister of Justice Brandstetter Headed an Austrian Delegation to the U.S.

The Austrian Embassy in Washington D.C. reports that Minister of Justice Wolfgang Brandstetter headed an Austrian delegation to the U.S. from January 28 to February 3, 2016. His visit included meetings with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, members of Congress, Facebook officials, as well as a tour of the Los Angeles County Jail.

March 4, 2016

Safety of Media Members Reporting on Refugee Crisis at Risk

OSCE Representative issues recommendations on rights and safety of members of the media reporting on refugees The challenging refugee situation in Europe also has implications for freedom of the media, not least with regard to the rights and safety of members of the media reporting on this important issue, Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović said today.

March 4, 2016

The Western Balkans Conference Which Led to Row Over Worsening Refugee Crisis

Convened on the initiative of Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz and Austrian Minister of the Interior Johanna Mikl-Leitner, the Western Balkans conference “Managing Migration Together” was held at the Federal Ministry of the Interior in Vienna. 18 foreign and interior ministers from the Western Balkans attended the conference. The participants included the foreign and interior ministers of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.

February 26, 2016

Austria Strengthens Synergies between Diplomatic and Business Community

Diplomacy and business go hand in hand. From now on, synergies between the representation networks of the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber are to be used more efficiently.

February 26, 2016

Greece Recalls Ambassador to Vienna in Row over Worsening Migrant Issue

By decision of Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, Greece’s Ambassador to Vienna, H. E. Mrs. Chryssoula Aliferi, is being called to Athens for consultations aimed at "safeguarding the relations" between the states and peoples of Greece and Austria.

February 25, 2016

Austrian Business Delegation to Visit India - Results

Austria's business delegation has returned from a five-day visit to India. What did they achieve?

February 23, 2016

Iran Appoints Ebadollah Molaie as New Ambassador to Austria

Ebadollah Molaie has been appointed as Iran’s new ambassador to Austria, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said recently.

February 19, 2016

UK Appoints New Ambassador to Austria and the United Nations in Vienna

Mr. Leigh Turner CMG has been appointed Her Majesty's Ambassador to the Republic of Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna. Mr. Turner currently serves as British Consul-General in Istanbul. After joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1984 to 1987 he already has had a posting in Austria before Turkey. The new ambassador to the Republic of Austria will take up his post in August 2016.

February 18, 2016

State Visits from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan in Context of Austria's OSCE Chairmanship in 2017

Michael Linhart met Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov and Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Araz Azimov in Vienna. “Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are important partners for Austria in the context of its OSCE Chairmanship in 2017”

February 12, 2016

Austrian Ambassador to the United States Wolfgang Waldner Presented his Credentials to President Obama

Ambassador Wolfgang Waldner presented his credentials to President Barack Obama on Thursday January 28, 2016. "I am looking forward to my upcoming tasks, especially to be part of the successful bilateral relationship our two countries share. It will be my honor to further strengthen the political, economic, and cultural bonds between the United States and Austria over the course of the next four years." Waldner said at the White House.

February 12, 2016

Opening of Austrian Embassy in Minsk: Belarus Acts as an Important Bridge

On 9 February 2016, the Austrian Embassy in Minsk was officially opened by the Secretary General for Foreign Affairs Michael Linhart. The opening of the embassy is an important element in the restructuring process launched by Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz to bring about a strategic re-orientation of the diplomatic representation network. "Austria is thus sending out a signal that the EU's immediate neighbourhood is one of its foreign policy priorities", Linhart pointed out.

February 12, 2016

Freedom of the Media: The Challenges Propaganda Brings for Journalism

The Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media will, together with the German Chairmanship, host an expert meeting on propaganda for war and hatred and freedom of the media on 12 February in Vienna.

February 10, 2016

International Holocaust Remembrance Day Reminds Us of Need to Combat Anti-Semitism

Remembering the Holocaust reminds us of our duty to speak out against the denial of these grave crimes and to work for tolerance and non-discrimination in our societies, said keynote speakers addressing the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, which was dedicated to commemorating the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January.

January 22, 2016

Klaus Toepfer to Give Keynote Speech at Economic and Environmental Forum in Vienna

Good governance in the OSCE area, reinforcing security and stability through co-operation, will be theme of the 24th Economic and Environmental Forum and the 1st Preparatory Meeting taking place on 25 and 26 January in Vienna. The meeting will focus on good environmental governance to enable sustainable economic development.

January 22, 2016

Austrian Foreign Ministry Welcomes Completion of Next Phase of the Vienna Agreement with Iran

The Austrian Foreign Minister welcomed the successful completion of the preparatory phase for the implementation of the Vienna Agreement between the E3/EU+3 and Iran. He hopes that Iran will assume a constructive role in resolving regional conflicts.

January 19, 2016

Germany's Steinmeier Formally Assumes 2016 OSCE Chairmanship

OSCE to serve as a platform for real and honest dialogue on today’s security challenges, says Steinmeier, as Germany formally assumes 2016 OSCE Chairmanship.

January 15, 2016

Wishing you Peace, Joy and Happiness in the New Year

Dear Reader, As the year comes to an end, I wanted to write and thank you for your support. It's the loyalty of readers like you that enables us to provide our service. This year saw us once again reporting on topics related to cross-border activities in business and diplomacy. Our mission remains to inform and to connect Austria's international professionals and expatriates to enable them to be more productive and successful. Whatever 2016 brings, my editorial team and I will continue to bring you the latest in Austrian-international news and insight. I wish you a peaceful and prosperous holiday season and - till next year. Warm regards, Dr. Peter J. Friedl, Editor, FriedlNews

December 23, 2015

Austrian-Russian Friendship Society to Appoint Richard Schenz as New President

Dr. Richard Schenz has recently been appointed as new President of the Austrian-Russian Friendship Society (ORFG - Österreichisch-Russische Freundschaftsgesellschaft). He succeeds CEO Ludwig Scharinger who left office for health reasons. KR Sen.hc Richard Schenz is a Vice President of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKO). He was formerly CEO of OMV and Capital Markets Advisor to the Austrian Minister of Finance.

December 22, 2015

Austria's Ambassador to the U.S. Hans Peter Manz Bids Farewell

Ambassador to the U.S. Dr. Hans Peter Manz will leave Washington and return to Vienna upon completion of his four year mission. Hans Peter Manz has served as Austria’s ambassador to the United States in Washington, D.C., from December 2011 to December 2015. Before moving to the U.S., Dr. Manz was the Austrian Ambassador to Switzerland. During his diplomatic career, Dr. Manz served in a variety of positions, including inter alia, foreign policy advisor to the Chancellor of Austria. His overseas postings included Tehran, Bern and New York. Ambassador Manz will be succeeded by Ambassador Wolfgang Waldner.

December 18, 2015

Report: Drug Money and Opiate Trafficking on the Balkan Route

A report recently launched by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) shows that the total value of illicit heroin and opium trafficked from Afghanistan to Western Europe through the Balkans amounts to some $28 billion every year. Sixty-five per cent of this total ($18 billion) is generated in Western and Central Europe.

December 14, 2015

Multi-Million-Dollar Funding Agreement between Qatar and UNODC Signed in Vienna

Unprecedented funding agreement between UNODC and Qatar leaves lasting legacy for Doha Declaration. The agreement, totaling more than US$49 million and slated to run over four years, is to deliver projects related to justice, prisoners, youth and justice education.

December 11, 2015

Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Council of Ministers Places 27 New Diplomats at Head of Embassies

The Council of Ministers of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to place 27 new Austrian diplomats at head of Austrian Embassies worldwide.

December 10, 2015

India Forum at the Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce

Recently the Foreign Trade Department of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber organised an event focused on India. Entitled “Parameters for Your Success with Business in India”, the event counted with the participation of ca. 70 Austrian companies and entrepreneurs aiming for India or potentially being interested in doing business there.

December 3, 2015

Foreign Minister Kurz Met Adel al-Jubeir and King Salman bin Abdulaziz

During his first visit to Saudi Arabia, Austria's Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz was received both by his Saudi Arabian counterpart Adel al-Jubeir, as well as King Salman bin Abdulaziz. The talks included besides bilateral issues - which also include economic relations - the future of Syria, the danger of the "Islamic State" and human rights.

November 27, 2015

Attacks on Journalists are Attacks Against Freedom of Opinion and Democracy

The UN-General Assembly adopts a resolution on the safety of journalists co-sponsored by Austria. Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz declared on the occasion of the adoption of the Resolution on “The Safety of Journalists” by the 3rd Committee of the UN-General Assembly, the International Day to End Impunity: “Attacks against journalists silence important voices in society and thus impede the freedom of opinion."

November 26, 2015

Austria Supports Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU Reform Agenda

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ Secretary General, Linhart visited Sarajevo. EU-accession and fight against radicalization were in the centre of the talks. Linhart: “Full support for the Bosnian reform route”.

November 20, 2015

“Terrorism Cannot Be Justified by any Means and Stands in Clear Contradiction to Islam"

The President of the Islamic Religious Community in Austria (IGGiÖ), Fuat Sanac, and Minister for Integration, Sebastian Kurz in a joint reaction vehemently condemned the terrorist attacks in Paris.

November 19, 2015

Austria Contributes EUR 3 Mln to New EU-Aid Programme for Africa

On the occasion of the establishment of the EU-trust-fund, which aims at combating the reasons for migration and flight in Africa, against the backdrop of the EU-summit in La Valletta, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz underlined the necessity that Europe provides suitable answers to the challenges posed by the current refugee crisis. Austria will support the fund with EUR 3m from the Austrian Development Agency’s (ADA) budget.

November 19, 2015