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Afghanistan’s Minister of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled attends Vienna Migration Conference 2018

Afghanistan’s Minister of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled attends Vienna Migration Conference 2018

 Vienna, October 19, 2018

This week, H.E. Faizullah Zaki, Minister of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan visited Vienna to participate in the Vienna Migration Conference 2018, hosted by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) from 18-19 October 2018 at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.

Joining more than 300 participants, including high level political decision makers, government experts, academia, media and civil society, H.E. Faizullah Zaki participated in high-level political panels, highlighting the importance of partnerships in the field of migration. Minister Zaki acknowledged the European countries for hosting thousands of Afghans in their countries. He explained the Afghan government’s policies regarding migration management and the achievements obtained in this end. Moreover, He pointed out the causes of irregular migration and suggested creation of legal channels for regular migration.

H.E. Minister Zaki, in the sideline of the conference, hold a bilateral meeting with H.E. Dr. Michael Spindelegger, Director General of ICMPD to discuss the policies of the government of Afghanistan regarding labor migration. Furthermore an MoU was signed between H.E. Minister Zaki and H.E. Dr. Michael Spindelegger for strengthening relations, promoting strategic partnership and enhancing the active cooperation between the Ministry and the Center in the field of Migration governance.

H.E. Minister Zaki was accompanied by Mr. Khyber Farahi Senior Advisor to H.E President of Afghanistan, Mr. Abdul Raqib Wahabzada, head of external affairs of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled of Afghanistan, and representatives of the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna, who actively participated in the exchange of ideas and fruitful debates.

On the occasion of the visit of H.E. Minister Zaki and his delegation, a reception was hosted by H.E. Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel, Ambassador of the Embassy and Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at the Embassy’s premises.


The Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna Celebrates the 99th Anniversary of the Restoration of Independence of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Vienna, 05.10.2018

The Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna celebrated the National Day, the 99th anniversary of the restoration of Afghanistan’s independence, with a reception hosted at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. The anniversary celebrations commenced with the playing of the national anthems of Austria and Afghanistan. An opening statement was made by H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel and Dr. Michael Spindelegger, Director General of ICMPD.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel in her statement welcomed those in attendance, including Ambassadors and diplomats; Dean and Executive Secretary of IACA H.E. Martin Kreutner; representatives from the United Nations organizations and the OSCE; members of the Austrian Parliament, guests from Austrian Federal Ministries and institutions, Municipality of Vienna and Afghan community in Austria. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel recalled the priority of fostering excellent relations with the beautiful host country Austria. She also acknowledged the great achievements Afghan citizens have made here in Austria and motivated them to further contribute to the relations between the two countries. The diaspora plays a crucial role in reciprocally stimulating the relations between Austria and Afghanistan.

Dr. Michael Spindelegger, Director General of ICMPD, commended the excellent work of Ambassador Ebrahimkhel and the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna. He welcomed Afghanistan’s continued efforts to provide education and opportunities and to empower the young people of Afghanistan to actively contribute in the stabilization and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. He also stressed the importance of informing the young population and managing their expectation when leaving the country. In this regard the first Migrant Resource Centre opened in Afghanistan by ICMPD and the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations.

The celebration for Afghan’s National Day continued with the opening of the traditional Afghan dinner buffet to the guests and with the playing of traditional music by the prominent Afghan cultural activist and musician, Mr. Bakhtiar.

The First Friends of RECCA Meeting held in Vienna

The first Friends of RECCA meeting was co-organized today by the RECCA Secretariat and the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna with the participation of ambassadors and representatives from regional countries and international organizations based in Vienna.

The meeting was opened by H.E.  Khojesta Fana EbrahimKhel followed by a presentation on RECCA by Mr. Hassan Soroosh, Director General for Economic Cooperation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan.  Ambassador Ebrahimkhel spoke about the importance of regional economic cooperation and the role that Afghanistan-centered regional cooperation platforms paly in promoting regional cooperation and integration in the wider region. She referred to the inclusion of a women’s economic empowerment component into RECCA’s agenda and expressed hope that more regional activities in this area would be developed in the future.

Mr. Soroosh presented an overview of the vision, objectives, priority projects as well as the new approach under RECCA. He highlighted the importance of Friends of RECCA meetings and expressed hope that these meetings will be held in Vienna on a regular basis.

The meeting continued with questions and interventions by the participants and a discussion on the way forward.

The Friends of RECCA meetings are held in major capitals across the world as opportunities for sharing updates and exploring areas of collaboration and coordination between the ambassadors and diplomats from the RECCA regional and partner countries and organizations with respect to priorities under RECCA.



OSCE Asian Contact Group Meeting Co-chaired by Afghanistan and Austria

The Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna along with the Austrian Mission at the OSCE Co-chaired the Asian Contact Group Meeting on “Regional Connectivity, Trade Facilitation, and Women Empowerment” at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna.

In this meeting, panelists shared their views and comprehensive presentations on Regional cooperation, inter-linking regional platforms for promoting trade and regional connectivity as well as empowering the role of women in the social, economic and political sector.

H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel visits the OSCE Academy in Bishkek

Today, the Head of the Embassy and Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Permanent/Resident Representative to the United Nations and other International and Regional Organizations in Vienna, H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel paid a visit to the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, within the framework of her official visit to Kyrgyzstan. Ms. Indira Satarkulova, the Academy’s Deputy Director, introduced the Academy’s main goals, programmes and activities. Madam Ambassador expressed a great interest in the Academy’s activities and highlighted the importance of the OSCE Academy for the region and Afghanistan in particular. The introduction was followed by the meeting with current students and alumni from Afghanistan.

The OSCE Academy has accepted students from Afghanistan since 2008. The total number of Afghan alumni reached 45. Currently, there are 10 students enrolled in both MA Programmes and 12 more students are accepted for the next academic year.

Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel attends the Opening Event of the Austrian EU Presidency in Schladming

Last weekend, on Saturday 30 June, Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel participated in the opening event of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU (July – December 2018). The presidency of the Council rotates among the 28 EU member states every six months.

The Austrian Federal Chancellery invited 5,000 guests, including members of the Vienna-based diplomatic corps to the informal festivities, under the motto “Servus Europa” (Hello Europe) at the famous Planai slope in Schladming in the province of Styria.

Boyko Borissov, Prime Minister of Bulgaria, holding the Presidency during the first term of 2018, passed the baton on to Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, in the presence of the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk.

The event provided an excellent opportunity for Madam Ambassador to engage with fellow diplomats, as well as representatives from the economy, culture, media and civil society.

Traditional, local food was served and live bands performed music at this well-organized and well-received event, held at this picturesque location.

On 1 January 2019, Romania will take over the EU Council leadership.

Afghanistan wishes Austria every success for the Presidency.


Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrhimkhel meets Governor of Vorarlberg, H.E. Markus Wallner

On 28 June, Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel travelled to Austria’s westernmost province to meet the Governor of Vorarlberg, H.E. Markus Wallner.

Mr. Wallner has been Governor of Vorarlberg since December 2011 and possesses professional expertise in the areas of international affairs and external relations, youth development and disaster management, to name but a few.

The Ambassador and the Governor discussed a number of issues related to the above-mentioned fields. The two main issues on the agenda were 1) the situation of Afghan migrants and refugees in Vorarlberg and 2) possible future cooperation between Vorarlberg and Austria in the fields of economy and trade, education, culture, infrastructure and development assistance.

The Ambassador encouraged foreign direct investments in Afghanistan, as well as trade stimulation and facilitation of market access. She also floated the suggestion of creating opportunities for Afghan students at one of the internationally renowned “Fachhochschulen” in Vorarlberg, as well as opening up avenues of collaboration between museums of Vorarlberg and Afghanistan.

Vorarlberg is positioned in a central location in Europe and serves as a hub of connectivity between Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. The province has a high export quota and enjoys a superb reputation for being a dynamic business location with a very high quality of life, boasting a rich cultural heritage, and a wonderful nature.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel was very grateful for the warm welcome in Vorarlberg, also known as the “Ländle” (= small county; small as in small is beautiful) and thanked Governor Wallner for the fruitful discussion.

Austria and Afghanistan have entertained excellent diplomatic relations since the 1950s, and our bilateral ties shall be further strengthened.

World Refugee Day

On the occasion of today’s World Refugee Day (WRD), the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna underscores the need for all countries to protect the dignity and safety of all refugees and in particular those belonging to the most vulnerable groups. We call upon all states to act in line with domestic and international commitments. The WRD reminds us about our responsibility to help and to act with compassion, unity and solidarity. There are currently close to 70 million refugees and internally displaced persons, many of whom are citizens of Afghanistan, following decades of wars and conflicts. Flight is a highly complex and global problem, which needs to be addressed through collective action in line with the principle of shared responsibility and in the framework of a functioning global refugee protection regime. On this day, we remember all refugees and the incredible hardships they are facing, and we stand together in supporting them.

The Embassy of Afghanistan takes part in the Graduation Ceremony at Szent Istvan University in Hungary

Graduation Ceremony at Szent Istvan University,
at the city of
Gödöllő in Hungary,
honoring a graduate from Afghanistan, Mr. Abdul Walid Salik

The Embassy of Afghanistan in Vienna, also covering Hungary, was invited to participate in the Graduation Ceremony at Szent Istvan University at the city of Gödöllő in Hungary, held on 14 June 2018, to congratulate Mr. Abdul Walid Salik, a student from Afghanistan, upon his graduation, obtaining his Master of Science degree. The Embassy’s representative, Second Secretary Mr. Omid Kamal, responsible for bilateral issues, expressed his heartfelt congratulations to Mr. Salik and to all other graduates.

Szent István University has become the most important educational facility in the area of agriculture in Hungary. For Afghanistan, with a strong agriculture sector, contributing around 20% to its GDP, educated agricultural engineers are essential with a view to modernizing our first sector.

Hungary has been a strong partner for Afghanistan for many years, with our development co-operation being launched in 2003. We are very grateful for the essential contributions made by Hungary, which also led the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Baghlan province – at that time one of the largest operations among Hungary’s bilateral international development assistance programmes. Hungary also generously deployed contingents to the ISAF mission and to the Resolute Support Mission and we highly welcome that currently 93 Hungarian troops serve in Afghanistan. Afghanistan also welcomes Hungary’s contributions in multilateral frameworks such as the United Nations and the European Union.

And there are great opportunities, too: Central Asia has become an important hub for Hungary’s economic connectivity, and Afghanistan, located at the Heart of Asia and at the Eurasian land bridge, seems like a natural partner for Hungary in trade and investments in and around that region.

Afghanistan is interested to expand on our bilateral co-operation and in particular in the area of education, which is a priority policy goal of the Government. We would highly appreciate additional scholarships and fellowships offered by Hungarian universities to Afghan students.

Statement by the Delegation of Afghanistan at the OSCE 1189 PC in response to the Head of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat

ST-OSCE-180614-PC item2 Centre Ashgabat – 14.06.2018