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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

Statement by the Delegation of Afghanistan at the OSCE 1189 PC in response to the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia, H.E. Marija Pejcinovic Buric

ST-OSCE-180614-PC item1 FM CRO – CoE – 14.06.2018

پیام تبریکیه عید سعید فطر

Statement by the Delegation of Afghanistan at the OSCE 1188 PC in response to the Head of the OSCE Programme Office and the Director of the OSCE Academy in Bishkek

ST-OSCE-180607-PC item2 PO+Academy Bishkek – 07.06.2018

Statement by the Delegation of Afghanistan at the OSCE 1188 PC in response to the Report of the High Commissioner on National Minorities

ST-OSCE-180607-PC item1 HCNM – 07.06.2018

Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel gave an Interview to the President of the Women in International Security Austria

This week, Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel gave an interview to Ms. Jessica Gruen, a student at Vienna’s Diplomatic Academy and President of “Women in International Security – Austria”. Madam Ambassador described the important role of the “Association of Afghan Woman Diplomats” that was founded by the Ambassador and provides a network and platform for female Afghan diplomats, with the goal of advancing their capacity and empowerment. The Ambassador also discussed the status of women’s rights in Afghanistan, against the background of decades-long wars and conflicts and the institutional and societal accomplishments made over the past 16 years. “Today’s generation of young Afghan women is the new face of our country”, she said. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel emphasized the importance of civil society and the broader public, women and men working together in achieving gender equality and gender parity. “Education remains a priority for the country”, Madam Ambassador stated and when asked about the situation of the country 15 years from now, she told the interviewer: “We Afghans are united in the conviction that tomorrow will be better than today. And this is why you still see so many fellow Afghans with a smile on their face; this is why through decades of hardships we kept our traditional hospitality, generosity and openness. I consider myself an optimist and when I look at our ambitious young generation I know that 15 years from now Afghanistan will be in a much, much better situation.”