Vienna, 16 January 2007 - State Secretary Hans Winkler received Lesotho's Foreign Minister Monyane Moleleki for talks yesterday. The meeting focused on EU relations with Lesotho within the framework of development cooperation, the bilateral relations between Austria and Lesotho and Austria's candidacy for the UN Security Council.
"Even though our two countries may be different from the socio-economic point of view, in mountainous Lesotho such issues as energy, in particular the use of hydro-power, and tourism play a role that is as important as it is in Austria. It is particularly in this area that Austria can make its knowledge available in the future by making an important contribution to the training of experts. In the foreign policy field we are both committed to constructive work in multilateral fora and to their strengthening in order to safeguard peace and prosperity throughout the world," emphasised Winkler.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC), a regional organisation aiming at the economic and political integration of southern Africa, is one out of a total of six regions conducting intensive negotiations with the EU on new WTO-compatible trade agreements. Lesotho has chaired the SADC since the middle of last year. "Economic reforms, infrastructure improvements, the significance of good governance, and long-term measures against HIV/AIDS are indispensable preconditions for the development of any country and thus also for a coherent development policy. Reforms are certainly the responsibility of each individual country. However, the goal of Austrian and European development cooperation is to make a long-term contribution to economic development and poverty reduction, including in Lesotho," emphasised the State Secretary.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
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