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Message from Designated Ambassador H.E. Manizha Bakhtari

 

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the official website of the Embassy and Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Vienna.

Together with my able team at the Embassy and Permanent Mission, I have started a very rewarding task: to serve the Afghan citizens in Austria and to promote Afghanistan’s bilateral and multilateral interests.

The I.R. of Afghanistan and the Republic of Austria have a long-standing relationship, based on mutual respect, at the bilateral level and within the framework of cooperation between Afghanistan and the European Union. Continuing to foster our bilateral relations with the host-country Austria is a priority for my team and I.

Furthermore, the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Vienna has non-resident bilateral responsibilities with Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, and Liechtenstein. The Embassy team seeks to serve the interests of Afghans by providing efficient consular services to Afghans residing there. The Embassy and I will make every effort to strengthen our bilateral relations with accredited countries and expand tangible frameworks of cooperation.

Vienna is one of the most important diplomatic representations of Afghanistan – particularly considering our excellent bilateral relations and the fact that Vienna hosts one of the three regional UN headquarters and organizations including CTBTO, IACA, IAEA, ICMPD, INCB, OSCE, UNIDO, UNOV/UNODC, and the OSCE Secretariat. In our work with International Organizations we will – inter alia – advocate for programs and projects for Afghan stakeholders to be designed to make a meaningful difference in the country. Investing in human capital is investing in the future of Afghanistan. We appreciate the educational and training programmes for Afghan stakeholders – bolstering our national capacity is vital for our national re-development efforts. Furthermore, the Mission here in Vienna will seek to contribute to the improved coordination of the activities of regional and international organizations in Afghanistan and the region.

I want to acknowledge the great achievements Afghan citizens have made here in Austria. I want to encourage Afghans in Austria to further contribute to the relations between our two countries. The diaspora plays a crucial role in reciprocally stimulating the relations between Austria and Afghanistan. Education is a priority for Afghan youth, and I will work hard to further encourage and increase the provision of scholarships and fellowship programmes for Afghan students in Austria while promoting diversity and interculturality with the aim of closing the cultural gaps.

My position requires me to promote the interests of my country, in politics and economy as well as culture and academia. I will pursue these goals with utmost determination both at the bilateral level with the Republic of Austria and on the multilateral level with the Vienna-based international organizations. During my term, I will focus on the following three areas: peace-building, state-building, and economic investment in Afghanistan and Afghan products.

Afghanistan has made great progress since 2001 in all areas of our lives, including education for girls and boys and equal rights for women and men. The women in Afghanistan have made great achievements over recent years. They are making history in reclaiming their roles in all spheres of our society, thereby reflecting the ongoing change in our country. We have planted the seeds of hope with a view to transforming threats into opportunities. Today, we are a democracy and our people are dreaming of a life in a modern, prosperous, and peaceful country. We have kick-started our economy; we are rooting-out corrupt practices; we have free media and a functioning civil society; we recognize human rights and are committed to fully implement our international obligations.

The people of Afghanistan are tired of war and crisis in the last half-century. Afghanistan has lost its children and its economic infrastructure. We hope that the peace talks in Doha will bring positive results and lead to enduring and sustainable peace, social justice, and economic prosperity in the country. Peace and security are closely related to state-building and investment. Afghanistan has great economic potential and prosperous resources. The Government of Afghanistan is providing investment opportunities and is ready to cooperate with our international partners. Let me also encourage all Afghans in Austria to contribute to the rebuilding of their homeland by providing expertise, investments, professional skills, and ideas. I invite Afghans abroad and the host country to invest in Afghanistan and to facilitate economic exchanges and the import of Afghan-made products. The Afghan Embassy in Vienna welcomes any such ventures and would be honored to cooperate in furthering economic prosperity. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are interested in working or investing in Afghanistan.

Historically Afghanistan has been an important part of connectivity and trade in the Region and this is the time to revise this heritage.  Afghanistan should not be perceived in a development context only. Afghanistan holds vast opportunities in terms of our abundant natural resources, nascent trade agreements, and growing networks of transport and energy representing the great economic promise of a more integrated South and Central Asia. We have good prospects in Afghanistan and you are invited to participate in realizing them, at the toehold of the Eurasian land bridge at the heart of Asia.

During my time here, I plan to explore the rich culture of this part of Europe. I will visit museums, galleries, historic heritages, and academic entities to learn more about art, culture, history, and humanity. I admire Vienna for its artistic, cultural, and intellectual legacy as well as its position as a hub for international dialogues.

Sincerely yours,

Manizha Bakhtari

Designated Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the Republic of Austria