Vienna, 14 February 2003 Press release

Ministry for Foreign Affairs:Transport through the federal territory of Austria of material and/or troops for military actions against Iraq requires UN mandate


Austria supports all efforts aimed at the full disarmament of Iraq

Vienna, 14 February 2003 - In response to diverse queries made by the media regarding the issue of transport of material and/or troops through the federal territory of Austria the Ministry for Foreign Affairs states the following:

On the basis of its national laws Austria will not give its approval to over-flights or passages of troops and/or material through its territory if such troops and/or material are destined for military actions against Iraq which have not been authorised by a UN mandate. The competent authority for granting such approvals is the Federal Minister of Defence who takes his decision in agreement with the Foreign Minister.

In the event that a new resolution explicitly authorising military actions against Iraq is passed by the United Nations Security Council, Austria will reconsider its position in the light of this decision.

Austria strongly supports all efforts aimed at a full disarmament of Iraq in the spirit of the relevant UN resolutions. If military measures were necessary as the last resort to achieve this objective such measures must be taken within the framework of the United Nations and in accordance with international law. This approach has also been supported by Austria within the EU.