Marseille, 4 November 2008 Press release

Winkler: "Europe and USA - indispensable partners"

State Secretary Hans Winkler at the EU Foreign Ministers' meeting

Marseille, 4 November 2008 - "The USA and Europe are indispensable partners for each other who maintain extraordinarily close and multifaceted relations. The matured transatlantic partnership has delivered impressive results, yet it must further develop itself. The economic and financial crisis, climate protection, energy and resource security, and the reduction of poverty are just a few of the challenges of the 21st century which we must face together. However, our cooperation and joint commitment to greater peace, security, democracy, and human rights in the world is also indispensable in central international issues such as Iran's nuclear program, the Middle East peace process, the Western Balkans, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Our relations with Russia and new emerging powers on the political world stage also require our cooperation. The EU and the USA need each other and are dependent on each other - the EU also expects the new US president to be aware of this", said State Secretary Hans Winkler on the occasion of the EU Foreign Ministers' meeting in Marseille, which dealt with transatlantic relations in view of the presidential elections in the USA.

"Europe needs a strong and responsible leadership at the head of the USA, which will support the further strengthening and development of multilateral structures, and will continue to deepen the relations between the USA and Europe", said Winkler.

The State Secretary also took the opportunity of the meeting of Foreign Ministers to thank the European partners on behalf of the Austrian Federal Government for their support and solidarity in the abduction case of Andrea Kloiber and Wolfgang Ebner. "The concrete assistance we received in the last eight months was an expression of European solidarity in practice."

Federal Ministry for
European and international Affairs
Katharina Swoboda
Office of the State Secretary
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3469