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Austrian ambassador hosts garden reception

Austrian ambassador hosts garden reception

Ambassador Brigitta Blaha welcomed guests to a formal garden reception to celebrate Austria’s National Day on the eve of the actual day, which is celebrated on Oct 26.

The Austrian national day marks the exit of the last soldiers after its occupation following the Second World War.

Ambassador Blaha drew attention to historical issues in her speech, noting that borders have changed dramatically between countries in Europe over the last hundred years.

Now, most countries are European Union members and Austria will in 2018 chair the EU council, is up to the end of 2017 chairing the European Council, and is a permanent host the OSCE, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as United Nations organisations.

“The European idea is one of the most successful peace projects in history,” said Ms Blaha.

The chief guest, Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain, spoke about the good relations between the two countries, adding onto what the ambassador had said. The bilateral trade is €260 million with a surplus in Pakistan’s favour.

The Sarhad Rurak Support Programme (SRSP) was awarded this year’s National Energy Globe Award, which was presented to the organisation’s CEO Masood Ul Mulk by the ambassador. The prize is sometimes referred to as the Nobel Prize for environment.

Austrian musicians Christopher Haritzer and Paul Schuberth also performed, starting the evening’s entertainment with both countries’ national anthems performed on the accordion and clarinet.

“I hope Ambassador Brigitta stays for many more years, so that we get to hear Austrian musicians often, and see works by Austrian painters, too,” said a Pakistani guest, who said this had been given prominence during her ambassadorship in Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, October 30th, 2017

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