Vienna, 13 November 2009 Press release

Spindelegger: "Sign of acknowledgment of our engagement in the Balkans"

Foreign Minister congratulates major-general Bair on his appointment as commander of the EU troops in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Vienna, 13 November 2009 - "I am very pleased that an Austrian, major-general Bernhard Bair, was appointed commander of the EU mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I wish to extend him my warm congratulations.The fact that, apart from the High Representative, Ambassador Valentin Inzko, now another Austrian is entrusted with an important function as part of the international presence in this country, is a clear sign as to how much Austria’s commitment and our expertise are appreciated", said Foreign Minister Spindelegger.The Tyrolean officer will assume his function on 4 December, which he will hold for the period of one year.

"The continued stabilization of the Western Balkans and, in this case, of course, in particular of Bosnia-Herzegovina remains one of Austria’s security policy priorities.Security in the Balkans also means greater security for Austrians“, said the Foreign Minister.

Spindelegger concluded by saying that"The appointment of major-general Bair is also an acknowledgment of the consistent engagement that Austria and its Armed Forces have shown for almost 50 years in numerous peace missions from the Golan Heights to Nepal, and in which 75,000 Austrian soldiers have participated so far."


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