Vienna, 8 December 2017 / Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani headed the delegation of Afghanistan to the 24th Ministerial Council meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), held at Vienna’s Imperial Palace Hofburg on 7 and 8 December.
Minister Rabbani also engaged in a number of bilateral meetings: He met the 2017 Chairperson-in-Office of the OSCE, the Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Austria, Sebastian Kurz; the Secretary General of the OSCE, Thomas Greminger; Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov of the Russian Federation; Foreign Minister Sirodjidin Aslov of the Republic of Tajikistan; as well as the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Estonia, Sven Mikser. Estonia is currently presiding over the Council of the European Union.
In his statement before the Ministerial Council, the Minister expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome in the beautiful city of Vienna and congratulated Austria upon the excellent work done during the 2017 OSCE Chairmanship. He commended the OSCE Secretariat led by Thomas Greminger for the continued strong support for Afghanistan and emphasized the intention to further deepen and broaden the co-operation between his country and the OSCE. Areas of mutual interest include the common fight against the daunting and intertwined challenges of terrorism and illicit drugs, in line with the principle of shared responsibility, as well as joint efforts towards enhanced regional connectivity and trade across the Eurasian land-bridge.
Afghanistan became a Partner for Co-operation of the OSCE in 2003 and has benefitted from a number of OSCE programmes and projects for Afghan stakeholders, implemented at various OSCE field operations.
Following the Ministerial meeting, the Foreign Minister paid a visit to Vienna’s Albertina museum, which houses 65,000 drawings and 1 million old master prints.