Vienna, 9 November 2010 Press release

Spindelegger: “Austria remains committed to UN and EU missions”

Council of Ministers approves extension of participation in fifteen international peace missions

Vienna, 9 November 2010 – “Austria’s commitment to peace is appreciated throughout the world. It is, therefore, even more important that this commitment is also widely supported on the domestic level. Today’s decision by the federal government to extend Austria’s participation in fifteen international peace missions provides an important step towards the sustainability of our international commitment,” stated Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger in an initial response to today’s approval of his motion by the Council of Ministers.

The geographical range covered by missions under the aegis of the European Union extends from the Western Balkans and Cyprus to Nepal: “The Middle East, alongside the Golan Heights and the Palestinian Territories, will keepconstituting a priority region for us in the future. We shall also continue our longstanding commitment in the Western Balkans and thus contribute to increased stability in the region as well as additional security for Austria,” continued Minister Spindelegger.

As a consequence of today’s approval, up to 1,672 Austrian servicemen, 26 police officers and one civilian member of staff may be deployed on a long-term basis. The missions, which began several years ago, have been supported by Austria for a long time.

“It is particularly rewarding that KFOR’s presence in Kosovo, to which Austria contributes 407 persons within the scope of the Partnership for Peace programme, may be continuously reduced over the course of the coming months due to an improved security situation in the region. The contribution made by international peace and crisis management missions to regional stability has been both obvious and decisive,” concluded the Foreign Minister.

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