HomeAustriaForeign Minister Schallenberg Attends Meeting of German-Speaking Foreign Ministers

Foreign Minister Schallenberg Attends Meeting of German-Speaking Foreign Ministers

On 8th April 2022, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg met with his counterparts and colleagues from Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Switzerland in Mauren, Liechtenstein, for the annual gathering of German-speaking foreign ministers. The Austrian foreign minister met with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, the foreign minister of Liechtenstein, Dominique Hasler, Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis and the foreign minister of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn. His itinerary also included a meeting with Hereditary Prince Alois von und zu Liechtenstein and the country’s Prime Minister Daniel Risch.

The meeting focussed on the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and the associated violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Russia’s aggression is not only a blatant breach of international law; but it is also an attack on our model of society based on democracy and the rule of law, as Alexander Schallenberg emphasized at the meeting.

What we are experiencing is a massive attack on our international system of rules and laws that we built after the end of World War II and the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is an attack that severely shakes our European security architecture,

Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said.

In a joint statement, the German-speaking foreign ministers condemned the Russian war of aggression and called for the war crimes committed by Russian troops to be dealt with under criminal law In addition to the devastating impact on Ukraine, Ukraine’s immediate neighbors also have been severely affected by the repercussions of Russia’s war of aggression. On the one hand, the neighbouring countries face a massive influx of displaced persons; on the other hand, the entire region of Eastern European and the South Caucasus is exposed to a security threat due to Russian destabilization.

During their meeting, the German-speaking foreign ministers reiterated that the comprehensive and sustainable support of partners in the region is essential. At the donor conference for Moldova in Berlin on April 5, 2022, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg already announced the provision of an additional ten million euros from the Austrian Development Cooperation and the Foreign Disaster Fund to support Moldova, bringing Austrian emergency assistance to the Ukrainian population in Ukraine and neighboring countries to a total of 27.5 million euros.

You are not alone, and you can count on our solidarity,

stated Foreign Minister Schallenberg.

Intensification of the fight against human trafficking was also discussed, which has a special position with regard to the vulnerable situation of displaced persons from Ukraine. On 13th October 2022, the annual Anti-Trafficking Conference will be held in Vienna, in partnership with Liechtenstein. Austria has already granted temporary protection quickly and unbureaucratically to more than 51,000 persons – mostly women and children.

Other discussion topics included relations between the EU and Switzerland, with a focus on creating as close a connection as possible between Switzerland and the EU, as well as continuing their research collaboration.

Our discussions in this five-country format are always very exciting for me, and I look forward to our continued close collaboration. Next year I am honoured to host everyone in Austria,

concluded Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg. 

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