Wien, 5. December 2006 Press release

Plassnik: "Austrian assistance in building rule-of-law structures esteemed worldwide"

05.12.2006

Foreign Minister on today’s extension of civilian police missions by the Council of Ministers

Vienna, 5 December 2006 - The Federal Government today decided to dispatch up to six further police staffs to Kosovo until 30 June 2007 within the framework of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission (UNMIK), which brings the Austrian contingent in this mission to 30 persons. The mission is designed to carry out international surveillance and monitoring of Kosovo’s newly developed police force.

"This is a further contribution by Austria to security and stability in the Balkans. The development of rule-of-law structures constitutes another priority of Austria’s activities in addition to our armed forces’ great commitment to safeguarding a secure environment in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Kosovo," said Plassnik following the Council of Ministers’ meeting. "The fact that the UN has asked Austria to increase its contingent is a special acknowledgement of the work of our police. This again confirms the high degree of esteem and demand for their comprehensive experience and personal commitment," emphasised the Foreign Minister.

"Our police trainers for the Iraqi police have also proved themselves. This was again assured to me several times as recently as yesterday during my visit to Jordan," continued the Foreign Minister. "That is why we will continue this mission and our contribution to the building of civilian security structures in Iraq," said the Foreign Minister.

The Council of Ministers took the decision to continue the mission involving up to three Austrian police staffs for the training of Iraqi police forces in Jordan until 31 December 2007. Based on a UN resolution, an external branch of the Iraqi police academy was established in Jordan at the end of 2003 where Iraqi police receive basic training from international instructors.

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