Afghanistan

Weekly Briefing: New Ambassadors in Vienna

The Find out more about this week's developments. In Vienna, several new ambassadors were accredited, who will represent their respective countries bilaterally as well as multilaterally at the OSCE and the international organizations in Vienna. Read about the latest developments in diplomacy in Vienna and Austria.

September 22, 2022

Taliban Opponent Massoud at Afghanistan Conference in Vienna

A conference in Vienna last week focused on the future of Afghanistan. About 25 politicians, human rights activists, scientists and other Afghan personalities met for the conference. Among them was Ahmad Massoud, probably Afghanistan's most prominent freedom fighter.

September 19, 2022

Global Peace Index: Austria Achieves Top Ranking

A global peace index is published every year by the Institute for Economics & Peace. The index evaluates the state of peace around the world and identifies the countries whose peace is highest and lowest. Austria achieved a top result this year. See which countries have the most peaceful climate below!

August 2, 2022

Afghanistan Receives Humanitarian Aid from Austria

Aid organizations in Afghanistan and the surrounding region will receive seven million euros from the Foreign Disaster Fund (AKF) to alleviate the acute humanitarian emergency of Afghan civilians. In this way, internally displaced persons and Afghan refugees will receive effective assistance close to home, thereby preventing cross-regional migration to Europe.

July 6, 2022

OSCE Strengthens Cooperation Between Europe and Asia

At the recent OSCE Asia Conference in Vienna, participants discussed synergies and opportunities for cooperation between the European organization and its Asian partners. Members strongly condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine and called for a return to multilateralism.

June 17, 2022

Human Rights Violations in the Ukraine Conflict: "Western Values Under Pressure"

The Covid-19 crisis and the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine have recently led to a worrying increase in human rights violations. The human rights situation in Ukraine, as well as in the rest of the world, was recently the focus of the Human Rights Committee in the Austrian Parliament. Read on to learn more.

June 9, 2022

Russia and Allies Held Summit in Moscow

The Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) held a meeting in Moscow to strengthen Russia's alliance with military partners like Belarus, Kazahkstan, Armenia, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan and to condemn the West. The CSTO and its Collective Security Council meeting were held in honor of the 30th anniversary of the treaty and the 20th anniversary of the organization.

May 17, 2022

Imran Khan Meets With Alexander Schallenberg in Pakistan

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan meets Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg in Pakistan. In addition to talks about Afghanistan, which is controlled by the Taliban, the war in Ukraine was also on the agenda. Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world that have so far not voiced criticism of Russia's crimes in Ukraine.

March 18, 2022

International Women's Day: Are Women the Better Crisis Managers?

Whether Ukraine, Afghanistan or the COVID-19 pandemic - women and girls were and are disproportionately affected by these crises and conflicts: Gender-based violence, poverty and school dropouts increase rapidly in times of crisis. This must be counteracted in a targeted manner.

March 8, 2022

Head of UN Women Discusses Deteriorating Situation Under Oppressive Taliban Rule

UN Women Executive Director Sima Sami Bahous discussed the distressing situation for women in Afghanistan under the Taliban with the Austrian Minister for Women Susanne Raab. Read more about their conversation.

February 11, 2022

Priorities of Austrian Foreign Policy in the Face of Numerous Global Challenges in 2022

The Foreign Policy Committee of the Austrian National Council recently met to discuss some of the major global challenges going into 2022. Read which issues they discussed and Austria's stance on them.

December 15, 2021

Towards a Powerful European Security and Defense Policy to Counter Authoritarian Regimes

"We are in a systemic rivalry with authoritarian regimes such as Russia and China and must make every effort to defend the international rules-based order. It is a matter of protecting the principles of international law, human rights and the international peace order." Against the backdrop of events in Afghanistan, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen argues for the expansion of Europe's military competencies.

December 8, 2021

Linhart's Round of Visits to Central Asian Autocrats Was All about Deepening Economic Relations

Foreign Minister Linhart visited the Central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan to strengthen economic relations. The foreign minister met various leaders and participated in multiple economic forums. Read about the details of his trip to Central Asia.

November 9, 2021

Strengthening Bilateral Economic Relations: Austria's Linhart in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan

Foreign Minister Linhart is visiting Central Asia with a business delegation to attend the first EU-Central Asia Economic Forum and discuss economic relations with various government representatives. The foreign minister's trip includes stops in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. Read about Linhart's agenda and what topics will be discussed.

November 5, 2021

Austria Deepening Relationship with Gulf States: Foreign Minister Linhart in Qatar

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdul Aziz Al-Thani and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani recently met with Foreign Minister Linhart in Doha, Qatar. The leaders discussed various issues, including the strengthening of ties between Qatar and Austria. Linhart also met with Qatari business leaders as part of the ReFocus Austria initiative. Read about Linhart's trip to Qatar.

October 29, 2021

Strategic Partnership with United Arab Emirates in the Pipeline

On a trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Austrian National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka expressed support for a strategic partnership between the two countries. Read about this new partnership that is currently in the works.

October 28, 2021

Conference on Migration Partnerships in Vienna

The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) is hosting the sixth Vienna Migration Conference (VMC). The conference will allow various stakeholders and high-level officials to discuss partnerships and reassess their strategies for dealing with new migration challenges. Read more about the event.

October 19, 2021

Foreign Minister Linhart's Inaugural Visit to the EU Foreign Affairs Council

Foreign Minister Linhart recently traveled to Luxembourg for his first meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council. In a meeting with the other foreign ministers from the EU, they discussed various issues, including the EU's Eastern Partnership and the war in Ethiopia. Linhart also met with Libyan Foreign Minister Najla El Mangoush during his visit. Read about Linhart's trip and what was discussed in the meetings, and watch Linhart's interview outside the event.

October 19, 2021

76th UN General Assembly: Contribution and Results from an Austrian Perspective

Throughout the 76th United Nations General Assembly, some of the main issues that the Austrian delegation focused on were sustainable energy and climate change, COVID-19 and vaccinations, and the situation in Afghanistan. Read about some of the contributions and results of the event from Austria's point of view.

September 29, 2021

What Is the Legal Status Quo of the Afghan Embassy in Vienna?

The last de facto ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Austria, Ambassador Manizha Bakhtari, no longer represents an existing government, but wants to remain Afghanistan's ambassador in Vienna after the Taliban's violent takeover of Kabul. She justifies this by saying that the illegitimate Taliban government cannot recall her and that Austria must first recognize the Taliban in order to legitimize her recall. Some members of the Austrian Parliament have now submitted an inquiry to Alexander Schallenberg, through which the status quo is to be determined.

September 24, 2021

Multilateralism at the UN General Assembly: Kurz and Schallenberg in NYC

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Foreign Minister Schallenberg are in New York for the 76th United Nations General Assembly. Their trip includes meetings with various delegations, with an emphasis on the situation in Afghanistan and the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, the pair, along with President Van der Bellen, will meet for talks with UN Secretary-General Antońio Guterres. Chancellor Kurz will also address the Council on Foreign Relations and Schallenberg will deliver a speech to the General Assembly. Read more about the details of their trip.

September 21, 2021

Austrian Development Agency: An Additional 2 Million Euros for Afghanistan

At the United Nations donor conference for the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the Austrian Minister for Integration and Women's Affairs Susanne Raab announced that Austria will provide an additional 2 million euros in aid to Afghanistan. The aid is being made available through funds from the Austrian Development Aid Cooperation of the Austrian Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the Austrian Foreign Ministry. The conference resulted in pledges of nearly double the amount of money that the UN had set as its goal.

September 16, 2021

Minister for European Affairs: The Fight against Migration as a Means of Pressure on the EU

Austrian Minister for European Affairs Karoline Edtstadler embarked on a multi-country trip to Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus, and Romania. The central topic of discussion is the increasing migratory pressure on the EU’s external borders, especially from Afghanistan and Belarus. Minister Edtstadler emphasized the need for border security at the EU's external borders and for targeted sanctions on Alexander Lukashenko's regime.

September 15, 2021

Aid Package for Afghanistan Approved by Austrian Federal Government

The Austrian Federal Government has officially approved 18 million euros in emergency aid for Afghanistan that it had previously promised. The aid will go from the Austrian Foreign Ministry's Foreign Disaster Fund (AKF) to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UN Women, and the UN World Food Program.

September 9, 2021

One Million Corona Vaccine Doses for Tehran

Due to the spread of the delta variant, Iran is currently suffering from the fifth and most severe wave of the coronavirus pandemic. To help assist Iran in the fight against the pandemic, Austria is providing the country with one million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Austrian Ministers Schallenberg, Nehammer, and Mückstein all expressed their support for the aid package.

September 8, 2021

Vučić Hosted Kurz: The "Fight Against Illegal Migration"

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić recently received Chancellor Kurz in Belgrade. The two of them spoke about illegal migration, especially regarding the refugees fleeing from Afghanistan. Other topics of discussion included bilateral relations and the EU rapprochement process. Kurz also spoke with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić about EU accession for the Western Balkans.

September 7, 2021

Schallenberg on Afghanistan: "Clear advance of mistrust toward the Taliban"

The Gymnich Meeting of EU foreign ministers recently took place in Slovenia. One of the main issues discussed during the two days of meetings was the situation in Afghanistan and how to deal with the Taliban going forward. Alexander Schallenberg expressed that there is a deep mistrust of the Taliban, but technical cooperation with them is currently necessary. Read more about what Schallenberg said and watch the video of him taking questions from the press.

September 7, 2021

Merkel Receives Kurz: Connected Through a Multitude of Relationships

German Chancellor Angela Merkel received Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz at the German Federal Chancellery in Berlin. In addition to a discussion of the issues Germany and Austria are currently dealing with, such as Afghanistan and the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting also served as Kurz’s farewell to the German Chancellor, who is leaving office after 16 years.

September 1, 2021

Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs Fuad Hussein in Vienna

Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein met Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg in Vienna for bilateral discussions. Some specific issues the pair discussed include Afghanistan, the security situation in Iraq and the Middle East, terrorism, and migration. Read about their meeting and watch their joint press conference.

September 1, 2021

Afghanistan: Austria Discusses Aid with Neighboring States Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan

To discuss cooperation and support on the situation in Afghanistan, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and Interior Minister Karl Nehammer initiated a joint video conference with Afghanistan's Central Asian neighbors, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as three European countries, Germany, Denmark, and Greece. The focus of the conversation with Afghanistan’s neighboring countries was on security, migration, and humanitarian aid.

August 31, 2021

Austrian Emergency Aid Package of 18 Million Euros for Afghan Women

Austria has announced that it will provide 15 million euros in emergency aid to help the people of Afghanistan. This is in addition to the 3 million euros that Austria already promised to donate to the UNHCR. The total of 18 million euros is intended to benefit, above all, organizations that campaign for the empowerment of women in the region, such as UN Women.

August 26, 2021

Violence Based on Religion or Belief: Vienna Human Rights Envoy Calls for Release of Detainees

On the International Day of Remembrance for Victims of Violence Based on Religion or Belief Vienna’s Human Rights Commissioner called for the release of Iranian Sotoudeh and Egyptian Santawy while reaffirming the need for freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.

August 26, 2021

Lavrov in Vienna: Tensions Following the Establishment of the Crimea Platform

In the first official bilateral visit of the Russian Foreign Minister to Vienna since 2009, Sergey Lavrov met with Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. The working talks included tense issues like the annexation of Crimea, human rights in Russia, Afghanistan, and the refugees on the Belarusian-Lithuanian border. However, they all expressed interest in continued dialogue and finding areas for cooperation between Austria, the EU, and Russia.

August 26, 2021

Van der Bellen Appeals for the Acceptance of Afghans

In his speech at the opening of the European Forum Alpbach (EFA) with Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen appealed for the acceptance of refugees from Afghanistan. Despite Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's concerns about accepting refugees, the president argued that there is a legal, moral and political obligation for the EU to offer protection to those forced to leave their country.

August 25, 2021

Schallenberg on Afghanistan: "Particularly close coordination between the EU partners is essential."

Before a virtual meeting of EU foreign ministers, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg commented on the escalating events surrounding the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. He stressed the necessity for cooperation among the EU member states to help deal with the situation.

August 20, 2021

Austria: Establishment of Deportation Centers in the Region Surrounding Afghanistan to Enable Deportations in the Future

Austria's Interior Minister Karl Nehammer has proposed deportation centers in Afghanistan's neighboring countries at the Special Council of EU Interior Ministers.

August 19, 2021

Van der Bellen on Afghanistan: "Deportations are contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights"

Austrian President Van der Bellen voiced his opinion on the situation in Afghanistan and the takeover of power by the radical Islamic Taliban. "The considerations to continue deporting Afghan citizens to Afghanistan are in contradiction to the European Convention on Human Rights, which is anchored in the Austrian Constitution and prohibits sending people back to a country where they have to expect persecution, torture and murder."

August 17, 2021

Austria and Afghanistan: The Dilemma with Deportations

While the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), human rights organizations and the Afghan ambassador to Austria, H.E. Ms. Manizha Bakhtari, plead for a stop to deportations, Austria continues to adhere to repatriations to Afghanistan. Read more why.

August 6, 2021 · Updated: August 9, 2021; 08:08

New NATO Liaison Office in Vienna

The NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg and Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg have signed the headquarters agreement for the NATO Liaison Office in Vienna.

May 12, 2021

Youth, Peace, and Security: Preventive Diplomacy Ambassadors Practice Conflict Prevention Strategy

Preventive Diplomacy Academy graduates from UNRCCA (UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia), Young Turkmen SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) Ambassadors and CTBTO Youth Group representatives had a great opportunity to express their views and ideas.

April 29, 2021

Manizha Bakhtari, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan Presents Credentials

The new Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Afghanistan to Austria, Manizha Bakhtari, presented her Letters of Credence. She was the former Afghan ambassador to the Nordic Countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland), and previously served as the Chief of Staff of the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

March 15, 2021

Vienna Welcomes New Ambassadors from Spain, Kazakhstan, Ireland, Ghana, Argentina and Afghanistan

Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen welcomed the six newly accredited Ambassadors of the Kingdom of Spain, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Ireland, the Republic of Ghana, the Argentine Republic and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to Austria to the Presidential Chancellery of the Vienna Imperial Palace for the presentation of their letters of accreditation.

March 4, 2021

Afghanistan - Reopening of Austrian Embassy in Kabul in Discussion

At about the same time as the drama about the 16-year-old girl killed by a 17-year-old Afghan in her childrens' room in Steyr took its course in Austria, H.E. Idrees Zaman Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan and Austria's Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl met to discuss the reopening of the Austrian Embassy in Kabul, visa issues and other issues of mutual interest.

December 14, 2018

Austria, the OSCE and the Asia Pacific - Effective Multilateralism in a Globalized World

The Austrian Foreign Ministry in the framework of its Chairmanship of the OSCE Asian Contact Group (Afghanistan, Australia, Korea, Japan and Thailand), is organizing a conference on “Effective Multilateralism in a globalized world - The case of Europe and Asia Pacific” at Palais Niederösterreich, Vienna. The conference will focus on multilateral security mechanisms in Europe and the Asia Pacific region, as well as on economic connectivity and co-operation.

May 14, 2018

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

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

Cost of Living Rankings: CEE Capitals Cheaper, Vienna is 32nd Most Expensive City

The Mercer's 2014 Cost of Living Rankings have been published and cover 211 cities across five continents. While Western European cities have all risen in the rankings mainly due to the strengthening of the Euro against the US dollar, most cities in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), however have fallen in the ranking as a result of local currencies depreciating against the US dollar. Bratislava (#84), Prague (#92), Kiev (#98), Ljubljana (#116), Zagreb (#120), Budapest (#135), Warsaw (#142), Belgrade (#184).

July 25, 2014

Direct Connection with Kabul - Afghan Kam Air Lands in Vienna

The private Afghan airline Kam Air started with the direct flights Kabul-Vienna-Kabul.

September 16, 2010
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