NATO and Austria sign agreement on liaison office in Vienna
On Monday (10 May 2021), the Secretary General welcomed the Federal Minister for European and International Affairs of Austria, Alexander Schallenberg, to NATO HQ for discussions about the strong partnership that exists between Austria and the Alliance.
The Secretary General thanked Austria for its contribution to NATO’s mission in Afghanistan. Mr Stoltenberg acknowledged that the decision to withdraw international forces from the country was not easy, and it entails risk, but that the alternative would have been an open-ended military commitment. Mr Stoltenberg added that Allies are now looking into how they can continue to support to the Afghan forces, including with funding and training.
On the Western Balkans, the Secretary General reiterated that the Alliance remains committed to the region and he thanked Austria for its long and substantial support to NATO’s KFOR peacekeeping mission and peace in the Western Balkans.
The bilateral meeting was followed by a signing ceremony of the agreement between NATO and the Austrian Federal Government on the legal status of NATO’s Liaison Office in Vienna. Once in force, this agreement will pave the way for the formal establishment of the NATO Liaison Office to the OSCE and other international organisations in Vienna. During the ceremony, the Secretary General welcomed Austria’s role in backing strong ties between the EU and NATO and in hosting the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).