Wien, 31. October 2005 Press release

Official Opening of Austrian Embassy in Malta

31.10.2005

Vienna, 31 October 2005 - On Monday, 31 October 2005, the Austrian Embassy in Malta was officially opened in a ceremony led by the Secretary General for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Johannes Kyrle. The Permanent Secretary to the Maltese Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Cecilia Attard-Pirotta, and more than 200 guests celebrated the opening.

The embassy is Austria’s first resident representation in Malta since 1797, which marked the end of the presence of the Order of the Knights of Malta. The embassy is housed in the historic Whitehall Mansions building opposite Valletta’s fortress, which additionally accommodates the British High Commission, the Dutch, Spanish and since recently also the Portuguese and Irish embassies.

Until now the Austrian Embassy in Rome was accredited for Malta too, and Austrian concerns were dealt with by the Honorary Consul Michael Bianchi, who will continue to support the new Austrian Embassy in future. In recent years the bilateral relations, which have always been good, have been intensified, in particular in the economic sector. Six Austrian banks have establishments in Malta, and Vienna International Airport plc has a participating interest in Malta International Airport. Projects in the environmental and energy sectors may also be realised in future. In view of these intensified relations and Malta’s accession to the EU on 1 May 2004 it was decided last year to open a separate embassy in Malta.

Contacts for further enquiries:
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Press Department
Tel.: (++43-5) 01150-3262
Fax: (++43-5) 01159-213
abti3(at)bmaa.gv.at