Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Austria

Newsline: Knife attacker shot dead outide Iranian embassy in Vienna

Heightened security measures have been ordered at embassies and other diplomatic buildings in Vienna after a soldier stationed outside the residence of the Iranian ambassador to Austria shot dead a man who tried to stab him, police said on Monday. The 26-year-old assailant’s motive for the attack, which took place around 11:30 p.m. (2230 GMT), was unclear and video footage would be reviewed, a police spokesman said. “The attacker stabbed the soldier repeatedly. He was only saved by a stab-proof vest,” the spokesman said, adding that the two men ended up grappling on the ground. “The soldier defended himself well and was then able to reach for his service weapon and fire shots,” he added.



Newsline: Pakistan embassy official missing with sensitive papers in Vienna

A Pakistan embassy official in Austria went missing along with some sensitive documents, as reported by a local English daily. The army official, who was originally from Sara-i-Kharboza, was appointed as a clerk at the Pakistani embassy in Austria around five months ago. He was given a sensitive assignment by the defence ministry. The official along with the sensitive information went missing on Jan 2, according to the FIR (first investigation report). According to the wife of the missing official, however, her husband left the embassy out of his free will and will “return after five years”. Nobody in Pakistan and Vienna knows about the missing official’s whereabouts, according to the FIR. However, it states that the wife, parents and brother of the man, despite allegedly being in contact with him, were not sharing any information about him with the police. The FIR further states that it is quite possible that the missing official had “become a tool in the hands of the enemy of the country,” it stated.


Newsline: Man charged for sparking fire at embassy in Washington, vandalizing another

A man was arrested and charged after allegedly vandalizing the Embassy of Austria and setting a fire at the Embassy of Malaysia in Northwest Washington, D.C. Versie Segers is accused of throwing an incendiary device, including an alcohol-soaked T-shirt, over the fence of the Embassy of Malaysia on Saturday. Court filings reveal that Secret Service agents assisted dousing the fire. Shortly afterwards, a burglar alarm was set off at the Embassy of Austria. Shattered glass and a large rock were discovered toward the back of the embassy, an affidavit said. Harm to the Embassy of Malaysia building is minimal, a spokeswoman told NBC Washington. The ambassador does not live in the building, but 60 people do work there. Segers faces charges on two counts for violating the property of a foreign government. No injuries were reported.



Newsline: British ambassador to Austria chased through woodland by ‘massive’ wild boar

Britain’s ambassador to Austria described how he had to flee from a “massive” wild boar as it chased him through woodland in Vienna. Leigh Turner described how he came across a group of the animals while out walking before an adult boar charged at him in the Austrian capital. He was forced to scramble to safety up a pile of wet tree trunks, receiving minor injuries in the process. On his blog, the ambassador said the boar did not catch up with him as he fled through Lainzer Tiergarten nature park.



Newsline: Austria to reopen embassy in Libya

The Foreign Minister of the Libyan UN-proposed government, Moahmmed Sayala said that Austria is soon to reopen its embassy in Tripoli and resume flights to Libya. Sayala held Monday a joint presser with his Austrian counterpart, Sebastian Kurz, who described his meeting with Fayez Al-Sirraj – the Head of the Presidential Council – as fruitful and in line with establishing firm relations, speaking out his country’s support for stability in Libya on all levels. “We would also be glad to cooperate with Libya in fighting illegal immigration in coordination with the EU operations.” Kurz indicated. Sayala, on the other hand, said they discussed illegal immigration and monitoring of Libya’s southern borders as well as the efforts to persuade neighboring countries to secure their borders to disallow any more influxes of illegal migrants.



Newsline: Austrian Embassy opens in Tbilisi

Austria is opening its Embassy in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi. For this occasion, the Secretary General of Austria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Michael Linhart, pays an official visit to Georgia on September 21-22. “The opening of an Austrian Embassy is expected to strengthen relations between the two countries in political, economic and cultural fields,” the Embassy said in a statement. The opening ceremony of the new Austrian Embassy will take place on September 22, followed by speeches of Ambassador Linhart and the Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia Gigi Gigiadze, Agenda.ge reports.



Newsline: Austria to Reopen Mombasa Consulate in Kenya Next Week

The Austrian government is reopening its honorary consulate in Mombasa after four years of closure. A statement from the Austrian Embassy in Nairobi indicated it had appointed a new honorary consul for Mombasa to start working from next week. “We are delighted to be able to announce the official re-opening of our Honorary Consulate in Mombasa on May 2, after a hiatus of three years,” the statement said. “We also believe that in Honorary Consul Saleem Ghalia, we have found somebody with an unmatched experience and excellent qualifications for the position. We trust he will be the right person in furthering bilateral relations between Kenya and Austria while acting as a first point of contact for Austrians in Coast Province.” Mr Ghalia also serves as the honorary consul for the Germany government in Mombasa. Honorary consuls are generally not career diplomats and are appointed to perform diplomatic and consular roles, sometimes without pay, as they do their main businesses where they pay taxes.