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Vienna International Diplomatic and Embassy News

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

Journalism Award “Writing for CEE 2015” Goes to Martin Leidenfrost

The EUR 5,000 Writing for CEE journalist prize has been awarded for the twelfth time. Journalists from all round Europe – including Northern Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, South Eastern Europe and the CIS countries – have been invited to submit their works. The Austrian Journalist Martin Leidenfrost wins the “Writing for CEE 2015” award for his column "Expedition Europe". At the award ceremony writer and honorary guest Karl-Markus Gauß touched on the discovery of Europe and SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said, that Europe faces new boundaries and divisions.

November 18, 2015 · Updated: November 20, 2015; 19:00

Only Full EU-Integration Can Stabilise the Western Balkans for a Lasting Time

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz commented on the European Commission’s progress reports, which were presented earlier this month: “Most of the Western Balkans countries’ progress on their way in direction of EU-membership is noticeable and positive. The Commission’s new methodology renders possible an improved analysis on the progress made in the respective countries in the last year. This creates a positive competition. The new progress reports also underscore that all candidate countries still have a lot of hard work before them and EU support towards this is essential. The current refugee crisis is no exception in this respect as it shows, how important the Western Balkans countries and Turkey are to Europe in tackling this particular challenge.”

November 18, 2015

Linhart: “Foreign Policy Should Focus on Stabilization of Neighbouring Regions”

“The European foreign policy must focus more of its attention on the neighborhood, the stabilization thereof – and in the case of the Western Balkans, their way towards the EU – has to be our European priority”, Secretary General for Austrian Foreign Affairs, Dr. Michael Linhart declared on the occasion of the 19th Europe Forum of the Austria Institute for Europe and Security Policy (AIES) in the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna

November 18, 2015

Three Austrians Were Present in Outrageous Attack in Bataclan Concert Hall

According to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs also three Austrians were present in the Bataclan concert hall, one of the attacks' targets.

November 18, 2015

OSCE States Adopt Declaration Condemning Paris Terrorist Attacks

In a special meeting of the Permanent Council in Vienna to discuss the recent attacks in Paris, the 57 OSCE participating States have adopted a declaration condemning the ‘brutal and indiscriminate’ Paris attacks and recent terrorist atrocities.

November 17, 2015

OSCE Condemns Paris Attacks

The OSCE joined world leaders and other international organizations in swiftly denouncing the attacks. OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić assured France that “all OSCE participating states stand by you at this hour, sharing the belief that no political cause can ever justify such heinous acts.”

November 17, 2015

Austria was Elected to Five UNESCO Bodies

During the current General Conference of the Organization for Education, Science and Culture of the United Nations (UNESCO) Austria was elected to five steering committees. The successful candidacies prove the credibility of Austrian experts worldwide.

November 13, 2015

In Pursuit of Peace and Security: How Gender Makes a Difference

Why is it important to include a gender perspective in peace processes and why does it matter if women are involved? These are issues that will be in focus at an OSCE Security Days event in Vienna on Friday, 13 November, which will explore the gender perspective of crisis prevention, conflict management and post-conflict rehabilitation.

November 11, 2015

A Global Labour Force: 230 Million International Migrants On Our Doorstep

OSCE expert meeting in Vienna focuses on effective policies for temporary, seasonal and circular labour migration. Some 70 representatives of OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation, experts from international organizations, civil society and research centres discussed changing labour migration dynamics at an expert meeting that concluded in Vienna today on effective policies for temporary, seasonal and circular labour migration.

November 9, 2015

Press Freedom: Every Fifth Day a Journalist is Killed at Work

According to a report from Unesco, worldwide more than 700 reporters have been killed from 2006 to 2014 in the exercise of their profession. On International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, the OSCE Representative calls on participating States to step up their investigations.

November 2, 2015

OSCE: Peace and Stability in Europe Impossible without Protecting Human Rights

Protecting and promoting human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, is inextricably linked to the preservation of peace and stability within and between States, participants said today at the opening of a two-day OSCE meeting in Vienna.

October 29, 2015

OSCE’s Contribution to the Protection of National Minorities to be Discussed in Vienna

Representatives from the 57 OSCE participating States, civil society and international organizations will meet in Vienna on 29 October to discuss the OSCE’s contribution to the protection of national minorities, assessing the achievements, exploring the challenges and identifying ways to address remaining gaps.

October 28, 2015

Iranian Foreign Minister to Participate in Syria Conference in Vienna

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will attend the conference on Syria in Vienna on Friday. This has been confirmed today by the Foreign Ministry in Tehran, according to the official news agency ISNA. Iran will meet in Vienna not only to Russia and the USA, but also to its nemesis Saudi Arabia.

October 28, 2015

Joint Russia-US Fight against ISIS: Kerry and Lavrov to Hold Syria Talks in Vienna

US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday in Vienna to discuss the Syrian conflict together with their counterparts from Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The meeting was made possible following the involvement of Vladimir Putin in serious diplomacy and the surprise visit by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Moscow on Tuesday.

October 23, 2015

Xi Jinping's Strategy Represents a Significant Threat to European Industry

AEGIS Europe, the manufacturing alliance of 30 European industry associations express skepticism at Chinese President Xi Jinping's remarks to the media during London visit. The alliance called into question Mr Xi's comments to the media about China's orientation towards a more open and transparent market.

October 21, 2015

OSCE: Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Water Governance are Priorities

The experience and knowledge of local communities are crucial to effectively reduce the risks of disasters, Chairperson of the OSCE Permanent Council Ambassador Vuk Žugić and OSCE Secretary General Ambassador Lamberto Zannier said today, on the occasion of the International Day for Disaster Reduction.

October 13, 2015

The Miss Earth Beauty Pageant is Coming to Vienna

Miss Earth, an annual international beauty pageant promoting environmental awareness is celebrating its 15th year in Vienna. Along with its rivals Miss Universe and Miss World, Miss Earth is one of the three largest beauty pageants in the world in terms of the number of national-level competitions to participate in the world finals and one of the most publicized beauty contests in the world. The reigning titleholders dedicate their year to promote specific projects and often address issues concerning the environment and other global issues. Climate Change will be the focus of Miss Earth for its Crystal Year celebration. Around 90 delegates from all over the world will be arriving on November 18, to start their activities and converge at the Marx Halle in Vienna on December 5, 2015 for the Coronation Night.

October 9, 2015

Austrian President and Various Ministers at the UN-General Assembly

Federal President Dr. Heinz Fischer, Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management Andrä Rupprechter and Minister for Education and Women’s Affairs Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek were in New York on the occasion of the leader’s week opening the 70th General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA).

October 8, 2015

Spindelegger Becomes Director General of Migration Organization ICMPD

Former Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Minister Michael Spindelegger has been elected Director Genera of the Vienna-based International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). 15 Member States of the Organization elected him for five years, ICMPD announced. Most recently, he was president of the Agency for the Modernization of Ukraine of the Ukrainian oligarchs Dimitri Firtash.

October 1, 2015

Humanitarian Crisis: OSCE Can Be Important Platform for Co-Operation

OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier today met refugees and representatives of local aid organizations at the Vienna West railway station (Westbahnhof), where he was briefed by Austria’s Interior Ministry and the Vienna police about their operations.

September 24, 2015