Hartmann: Political future of BiH is especially important to us as an EU partner

Hartmann: Political future of BiH is especially important to us as an EU partner

SARAJEVO, October 26 (FENA) – The Austrian Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Ulrike Hartmann, on the occasion of the Austrian National Holiday, October 26, pointed out this evening that this is a solemn day for all Austrians, which is celebrated together with partners and friends abroad.

In a video message on this occasion to Austrians and all friends of their country, the ambassador, speaking in Bosnian, reminded that the pandemic still imposes restrictions, which is why her address this year is a virtual one, noting that Covid-19 does not only mean physical distance among people and health risk but also major changes and predominantly negative consequences in both private and business life.

In this difficult situation, Austria has very clearly taken responsibility for its people, said Hartmann. In September this year, the Federal Austrian government provided special support to the country’s economy and launched an initiative under the motto ‘ReFocus Austria’.

After last year’s economic deficit, the ambassador added, in this way the Austrian economic export activity should be intensified again and jobs should be provided.

“The signal we are sending is: ‘We’re back in business!” said Ulrike Hartmann.

In such a challenging situation at the international level, Austria, according to her further allegations, does not think only of itself, but shows solidarity “primarily with our friends in the Western Balkans, and especially with Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

For example, the Austrian federal government took care of the procurement of vaccines, and in addition, it donated half a million doses to Bosnia and Herzegovina “because our motto is – no one in Austria is safe until all people are safe,” she said.

In addition to this assistance, Austria is implementing numerous other projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina whose objectives are, for example, the empowerment of women, support for vulnerable groups and children. The presentation of the culture of modern Austria and the common cultural features of the two countries are also in focus, she noted.

“The political future of Bosnia and Herzegovina is especially important to us, a strong partner country in the EU. Austria does not only provide political support here, but also concrete knowledge and skills in the field of justice, security, veterinary medicine or in the work of parliaments in order to accelerate our approach to the European Union.

It is now up to Bosnia and Herzegovina to take the necessary legal and political steps urgently. The importance of the security of Bosnia and Herzegovina is also shown by the continued presence of Austrian soldiers in the country. We are clearly committed to continuing this engagement for peace and security within the EUFOR Mission,” the Ambassador said.

In her video message, Ambassador Hartmann thanked all her colleagues for their continued cooperation and toasted in honor of her country’s national holiday.

Along with her welcoming speech, in this video, members of the “House of Good Tones” from Srebrenica performed “Due Pupille” by W.A. Mozart.

On the occasion of the Austrian national holiday, tonight from 7 to 10 pm, the Sarajevo City Hall will be illuminated in the colors of the flag of that country, while in Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Mostar, scenes from Austria will be shown on LED screens for seven days.

The activities on the occasion of that holiday are being realized by the Austrian Embassy in Sarajevo, with the remark that due to the current epidemiological situation, a traditional reception will not be organized this year either on the occasion of this important date.