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The Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna Celebrates Eid al-Adha

Vienna, 24.09.2015

On occasion of Eid al-Adha, Diplomats and H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani, attended the Eid Prayer at the Mosque as well as a gathering of Afghans residing in Vienna. At the gathering, Ambassador Erfani congratulated those present and wished them and their families success. He also expressed his wishes for sustainable peace and stability for Afghanistan. The Embassy and Afghan community in Vienna also celebrated in a special reception at the Embassy, on the second day of Eid al-Adha, which coincides this year with the day chosen to celebrate the National Day of Afghanistan here in Vienna.

H.E. Ambassador Erfani’s personal message for Eid al-Adha: “Dear compatriots residing in Austria, I would like to congratulate you on the occasion of Eid al-Adha and I wish you and your dear ones good health and every success. Let us also pray to Allah the Almighty that on these sacred days he bestows peace and stability on our beloved country of Afghanistan.”

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H.E. Ambassador Erfani Delivers Statement to the IAEA 59th General Conference

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Vienna, 16.09.2015

On September 16th, H.E. Ambassador Erfani delivered a statement to the 59th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He began by welcoming the newest members of the IAEA family, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, and Turkmenistan. Ambassador Erfani noted the importance of the General Conference for sharing information and evaluating opportunities to address issues of international peace and nuclear safety and security. He noted the importance of nuclear science and technology to the development of Afghanistan and for achieving the goals of the National Unity Government under the Country Program Framework (2012-2016). Ambassador Erfani was pleased to report that the Parliament of Afghanistan has ratified Afghanistan’s Nuclear Act, drafted by the Afghanistan Atomic Energy High Commission (AAEHC) with the IAEA’s assistance on 10 September 2015.

Ambassador Erfani noted the importance of the relationship and technical cooperation between the IAEA and Afghanistan and said that, “Recent technical cooperation projects between Afghanistan and the IAEA revolved around three key projects: The establishment of a Radiation Oncology Centre; a Radiology Diagnostic Centre; and Radiotherapy and Radiology Services in Kabul. Afghanistan appreciates the support that has been received from the IAEA technical cooperation projects and looks forward to the expansion of such cooperation in future projects.” Ambassador Erfani reaffirmed Afghanistan’s commitment to continued efforts to further develop the institutional and regulatory framework required for peaceful nuclear technology applications. He reaffirmed that, “Afghanistan continues to fully support the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free-zone in the Middle East and respective consultations to achieve this goal. We emphasize the central role of the IAEA in this process. The Government of Afghanistan welcomes any confidence and security building measures in this region, as well as any similar positive steps towards elimination of WMD arsenals.” Ambassador Erfani concluded by welcoming the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed between the IR of Iran and EU3+3  on 14 July 2015 and added that, “We congratulate the IR of Iran, the United States and the other negotiating partners on the historic outcome, and we encourage all sides to take every effort for the implementation of this agreement.”

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H.E. Ambassador Erfani met with Young Afghan Diplomats at the OSCE

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Vienna, 16.09.2015

Today H.E. Ambassador Erfani, along with two diplomats from the Afghan Delegation, met with up-and-coming young diplomats from Afghanistan during a special meeting at the OSCE. The meeting was hosted by the Permanent Mission of Germany to welcome young diplomats of the various Central Asian countries, including Afghanistan. The group of young diplomats were part of an international training programme organized by the German Foreign Office concerning the formation of young diplomats from all over the world. During their stay in Vienna, the young diplomats visited the OSCE and various International Organisations to get an insight into the functioning and activities of their respective missions.

During the meeting, Ambassador Erfani briefed the young Afghan diplomats various aspects of the work completed here in Vienna at various international oganisations including the UN, OSCE, UNIDO, IAEA and CTBTO. Ambassador Erfani noted the importance of training and first-hand experience for young diplomats. He congratulated the young diplomats on their efforts to improve their skills and knowledge in order to best represent Afghanistan in international affairs.

Ambassador Erfani thanked the H.E. Permanent Representative of Germany to the OSCE, Ambassador Eberhard Pohl, and the coordinators of the Young Diplomats Programme meeting. Ambassador Erfani added that Germany throughout history has proved to be a great friend of Afghanistan and for the last 14 years, has been an active member of the international community in the stabilization process in Afghanistan. Ambassador Erfani concluded specially thanked Germany for coordinating this capacity building activity and noted that capacity building remains an essential area in particular for the young generation who are a promising factor in our future.

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Minister of Counter Narcotics, Minister Azimi, Meets with Women of the Afghan Community

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Vienna, 17.09.2015

On Saturday, September 12, H.E. Minister Azimi met with women of the Afghan community in Vienna at a reception hosted by H.E. Ambassador Erfani in his residence. At the outset, H.E. Ambassador Erfani welcomed H.E. Minister Aimi and the group of 60 women and emphasized the importance of the empowerment of women in Afghanistan as vital for a prosperous and democratic Afghanistan. Ambassador Erfani introduced Minister Azimi to the intelligent, educated and committed women of the Afghan community based in Vienna and briefed the women gathered on the programs and activities of Minister Azimi during her time in Vienna. Minister Azimi’s programme included visiting Vienna in order to attend and speak at the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe Conference on Illicit Drugs Among Young People as well as attending a briefing at the VIC where she made a presentation on the ongoing situation in the country. During both meetings, Minister Azimi reaffirmed the commitment of the government of Afghanistan in the fight against drugs.

During her reception with women from the Afghan community, Minister Azimi briefed the participants on the situation in the country for women and children, as well as addicted women and children. Minister Azimi expressed her commitment on behalf of the National Unity Government of Afghanistan to work Afghan people residing in Europe, including on issues relating to further developing rights for women, children in particular those women and children struggling with addiction. She took questions from the women on the rights for women, children, and addicts and entered into an open discussion of how Afghan women abroad can contribute to the well-being of women and children in Afghanistan, particularly those struggling with addiction.

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H.E. Minister Azimi, Minister of Counter Narcotics, Addresses OSCE Conference on Illicit Drugs among Young People

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Vienna, 10.09.2015

Today as part of the two day conference hosted by the OSCE on the “Enhancement of Mechanisms to Cope with Increasing Spread of Illicit Drugs amongst Young People”, H.E. Minister Azimi delivered a speech giving an overview of the drug control situation in Afghanistan. She noted that poppy cultivation had increased by 7% compared with previous years. Tragically, Afghanistan also witnessed an alarming increase in the rate of addiction in its people with recent surveys showing approximately 2.9 to 3.6 million Afghans could test positive for one or more drugs and 1.0 to 1.2 million of these people are children. Minister Azimi noted several challenges for Afghanistan in dealing with the drug problem, including: ineffective alternative livelihood programs and insufficient resources in the area of addiction treatment.

Success in countering narcotics will be gained through addressing the growing link between drug trade and terrorism and focusing on the root causes of illicit drug cultivation including poverty, unemployment, and lack of alternative livelihood. Minister Azimi also noted that The drivers of drug business at regional and international levels need to be addressed with a special focus on its financial aspect in combination with intensified efforts to combat trafficking in precursors. Overall success in Afghanistan, the region and the world will only come about with increased cooperation and coordination in counter narcotic efforts through information sharing. Minister Azimi further noted that More resources are needed to address the root causes of drug use among young people as well as to strengthen preventive measures including awareness raising among young people. She sees a a great potential in civil society institutions in helping with preventive measures.

Minister Azimi concluded noting that, “The National Unity Government of Afghanistan remains committed to the elimination of opium economy. In few weeks, the new Counter Narcotics Strategy of Afghanistan and the new Drug Control Action Plan will be shared with the international community which will set the priorities and the implementation plans for the years to come.” Further to this, she noted that, “While we are grateful for the support that has been provided by the international community to our counter narcotics efforts in the past 14 years including by the OSCE participating states and partners for cooperation, I hope that we will witness even greater support to the implementation of our new counter narcotics strategy and the relevant action plan in the years to come.”

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The Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan commemorates the ‘Week of Martyrs’

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Today, to commemorate the ‘Week of Martyrs’ the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna hosted a religious ceremony to remember those who had given their lives in the fight for a free, independent, prosperous  and united Afghanistan. Members of the Afghan community, heads of Afghan civil society, as well as religious leaders and Embassy staff, joined Ambassador Erfani in commemorating those who had fallen, through a prayer service.

All attendees participated in the ceremony with Afghan women, men and youth reading passages from the Koran to honour those who sacrificed their lives over the three decades of war and conflict in Afghanistan.

Following the religious ceremony, Ambassador Erfani spoke of theimportance of remembering the many Afghans who lost their lives in the fight to protect the ideals of freedom, equality and liberty in the country. Ambassador Erfani statted that today, the 9th of September, is the 14th Anniversary of the martyrdom of Afghan national hero Ahmad Shah Massoud who was assassinated by two terrorists just two days before the September 11th attacks on the United States. People of Afghanistan lost their very dear leaders, among them Professor Rabbani, Haji Qadir, Abdullah Karzai, Motalliab Beg, Ahmad Khan Samangani, Sayed Mustafa Kazemi, Abdul Rahim Ghafoorzai and others from all ethnic groups of Afghanistan. They will be remembered in the heart and mind of peace loving Afghans. Ambassador Erfani spoke of how now, more than ever, it is vital that we not forget the sacrifice they have made and how we must continue to protect these ideals during this essential Decade of Transformation (2015-2024). Afghanistan has achieved so much in way of stability and prosperity for the country that we must continue to strive to ensure these achievements are not destroyed by enemies of Afghanistan.  Ambassador Erfani concluded by paying tribute to the Martyrs of Afghanistan by expressing strong solidarity and sympathy with the victims and their families who fought in order to achieve a free and prosperous Afghanistan. He also thanked the sacrifices made by the partners in the international community over the last three decades. He said all Afghans and international friends will always be remembered for the sacrifice they made and we will continue to work towards accomplishing the wish of the Afghan Martyrs for a stable, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan.

Following the ceremony and discussion, those in attendance had the opportunity to speak of and discuss with Ambassador Erfani and Embassy staff of those who they have lost to the actions of destructive forces in the country and of the ongoing situation in the country.

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Afghan Peace Ambassador Visits Vienna and Meets the Vice-President of the Austrian National Olypmic Committee

Afghan Cyclists with Austrian Olympic Committee VPAfghan Cyclists

Vienna, 27.08.2015

Dr. Nader Shah Nangahari, a dentist by profession and a passionate cyclist, is currently undertaking — for the second time — a bike tour around the globe. This time accompanied by his son.

In 2002, Dr. Nangahari departed on a bike tour to convey a message by the Afghan people – a message of peace, friendship and cooperation among humanity.

His first trip, 2002-2003, took him from Afghanistan to Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, the United Kingdom, and finally, the United States.

Upon his return to Afghanistan, he was awarded the title of hero by the Afghan Government and a medal by the Afghan National Olympic Committee. From 2003 onwards, he visited different regions of Afghanistan to share his vast experience and advocate for the education and empowerment of women.

This year, Dr. Nangahari is repeating his successful initiative. Yesterday, he and his son stopped in Vienna for meetings at the Afghan Embassy and Permanent Mission (second photo), and with Mr. Otto Flum, Vice-President of the Austrian National Olympic Committee (first photo). Also, Wiener Zeitung daily newspaper conducted an interview with Dr. Nangahari.

“My country Afghanistan has achieved much progress over the past fourteen years and has become a better place to live for the Afghan people, thanks to the sacrifices of the Afghan people and the generous support by the International Community”, Dr. Nangahari stated during the meeting with Mr. Flum.

“However, security still remains a serious challenge for peace and stability in the country. The main purpose of my trip this year is to convey to the International Community that the Afghan people, as a peace-loving people, are tired of war and foreign intervention”, he continued.

He concluded by stating, “We are grateful for the assistance provided to us by our international friends and partners. I would like to call on the international community to continue their support for the Afghan people and for peace and stability in the country.” Dr. Nangahari thanked Mr. Flum for the warm welcome and friendly hospitality.

Dr. Nangahari’s message is a message of peace and solidarity with the International Community, in the spirit of Olympic solidarity and ideals to live in peace and harmony with each other.

During their stay in Vienna, the two cyclists were guests of the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan. Embassy staff accompanied them to the Czech border from where they continued their trip to Prague.

Ambassador Erfani Attends Commemoration of 14 Year Anniversary of Assassination of Afghanistan’s National Hero, Ahmad Shah Massoud

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Vienna, 24.08.2015

On Sunday, August 23, 2015 the Afghan community in Vienna, coordinated by the Youth Leadership Organization of Vienna, observed the 14th anniversary of the assassination of the National Hero Ahmad Shah Massoud. Ambassador Erfani was invited to participate in this event and address those in attendance.

In his opening statement, Ambassador Erfani praised the struggle and sacrifice of all Afghans from all ethnic groups, among them the late President Prof. Rabbani, Ahmad Shah Massoud, Abdul Ali Mazari, Motalliab Beg, Commander Abdul Haq and other martyrs, who lost their lives for the independence, peace, and stability of Afghanistan. Ambassador Erfani also applauded Ahmad Shah Massoud as a National Hero of Afghanistan, who spent his life to defend Afghanistan against the foreign intervention and terrorism, was assassinated on September 9, 2001. He noted that memories of Ahmad Shah Massoud and all other heroes and martyrs who sacrificed their lives for freedom, peace and stability in Afghanistan should not be limited to celebrating anniversaries but also must serve as a vision and goal for the cause of peace and stability for all of humanity.

Ambassador Erfani mentioned that Ahmad Shah Massoud, who put his life on the line for well-being of the Afghan people, called for the establishment of a broad based national government where all Afghans were represented through elections and democratic processes. He stated that this vision must lead us today into the future to ensure the programme of the National Unity Government for a stable and prosperous Afghanistan.

Ambassador Erfani was awarded a certificate by the Youth Leadership Organization of Vienna in appreciation and recognition of his service as Ambassador to Austria and Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna.

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Ambassador Erfani’s Message on the Occasion of Afghanistan’s National Day

17.08.2015

The Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna congratulates all Afghans on the occasion of their National Day, restoration of independence.

The people of Afghanistan, regardless of the ongoing challenges in the country, remain determined to continue their journey with the support of their partners in the international community to work towards a stable, prosperous, and democratic future.

Happy National Day to all!

Please note that as was done in the past, the Embassy and Permanent Mission will officially celebrate the National Day of Afghanistan the first week of October.

The Embassy and Permanent Mission will be closed on August 19, 2015 in observance of the National Day.

Delegation of Afghan Parliamentarians attended 12th General Meeting of the International Parliamentarians’ Coalition for North Korean Refugees and Human Rights


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Vienna, 17.08.2015

On Wednesday and Thursday, 12 and13 August, a delegation of Afghan parliamentarians participated in the 12th General Meeting of the International Parliamentarian’s Coalition for North Korean Refugees and Human Rights.  As head of the delegation, Mr. Sediqi delivered a statement in the opening session of the conference.

Referring to the situation of Afghanistan, Mr. Sediqi stated,

 “Afghanistan’s parliamentarians will always advocate for the promotion and protection of human rights of refugees including those from North Korea and anywhere else on our globe and hope that our joint efforts under various frameworks including under IPCNKR will effectively contribute to this end.

The matter of refugees has become a serious issue more recently, not only for Afghanistan but for the international community as a whole. We are confronted with a global challenge that requires sober and practical action, upholding the unalienable rights of refugees.

Afghanistan will do its part to address the challenges faced by refugees and we thank our partners in the international community for their continued cooperation and assistance to overcome this serious, humanitarian challenge.”

In the course of their visit the delegation also conducted bilateral meetings with other participating delegations and attended dinners hosted by Japan, Korea, and the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan.  Additionally, Mr. Sediqi met with a journalist from the Winer Zeitung to discuss the current political situation facing Afghanistan.

Throughout their visit the delegation was accompanied by Ambassador Erfani to bilateral meetings where they discussed the current situation of the country and effective ways of Afghanistan’s partners continued cooperation with the country.  Particular emphasis was placed on strengthening the relationship between parliaments throughout the decade of transformation in Afghanistan, 2015-2025.

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