Vienna, 11 October 2006 - On 11 October 2006, Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik and State Secretary Hans Winkler met with their ministerial counterpart from the Dominican Republic Carlos Morales Troncoso for a comprehensive exchange of opinions in Vienna. "The summit held between the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean in Vienna in May 2006 raised our awareness of our close interdependence and our common interests, providing new incentives for the relations between Austria and the states of the Caribbean region. It is imperative that we maintain and take advantage of this momentum," said the Foreign Minister.
The talks focused on bilateral issues. A bilateral investment protection agreement is being drawn up and an air traffic agreement has been finalised and will be signed soon. The Dominican Republic is Austria’s biggest trading partner in the Caribbean and Austria’s second largest export market in the region after Trinidad and Tobago.
Another major factor in the bilateral relations with the Caribbean island is tourism. Every year, more than 10,000 Austrians spend their holidays in the Dominican Republic. The air traffic agreement will facilitate direct flight connections between the two countries in the future. Moreover, it is planned to improve the service for Austrian holidaymakers through cooperation with a European professional body in Santo Domingo. "In doing so we are embarking on an innovative course to ensure the best possible consular protection for our citizens abroad, even in places where we are not currently represented by our own Austrian diplomatic mission," emphasised Plassnik. The Dominican Republic will, in turn, open a bilateral embassy in Vienna very soon.
Cooperation in the multilateral field was another topic. The two sides are especially interested in close cooperation within the framework of the UN, as both countries are applying for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council. "We are united by our common effort to obtain a temporary seat in the Security Council in a few years’ time. In this effort Austria can build upon its reputation as a reliable and highly committed partner of the United Nations," underlined Plassnik.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
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