Austria reopens its embassy in Iraq
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – After arriving in Baghdad on Monday evening, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and his counterpart Fuad Hussein held a joint press conference Tuesday morning to discuss several issues, particularly the reopening of the Austrian Embassy in Baghdad.
At the presser, the Iraqi FM stressed that Iraq welcomes Austrian companies and the return of Austrian Airlines to the country.
In addition, Hussein stated that the Iraqi constitution prohibits any party from using Iraqi territory to attack neighboring countries and that the necessary steps have been taken to remove opposition groups from the Iran-Iraq border.
In his address, he reiterated Iraq's commitment to the security agreement with Iran and said he would visit Tehran tomorrow.
"Our security agreement with Austria does not involve foreign troops to Iraq, but rather military advice and training," he stated.
Moreover, the Austrian FM reaffirmed that the objective of his visit to Baghdad was to strengthen relations with Iraq in many areas.
“Today we will sign an agreement concerning internal security in Iraq, and we are hopeful that the agreement will serve its intended purpose,” Schallenberg noted and added, "Iraq plays a significant role in stabilizing the region."
Both sides also discussed Iraqi citizens living in Austria, numbering about 30,000 people.
Since 1991, Austria has not maintained an embassy in Baghdad. It has only maintained a trade mission there.
During a meeting between Hussein and Schallenberg in Vienna in September 2021, Hussein requested the reopening of the Austrian Embassy in Baghdad. Austria has maintained an embassy in Jordan for more than 30 years, and it has served as the closest gateway for Iraqis.
As of August 2022, the Austrian government decided to reopen its embassy in Baghdad and enhance diplomatic relations with Iraq.
Austria has played an important role in the fight against ISIS in Iraq. It has provided financial, logistical and military support to the Iraqi government as part of the International Coalition to Defeat ISIS.