First Austrian Embassy opens in Tbilisi this week

Georgia welcomed the Austrian President with the flags of the two countries in Tbilisi streets. Photo by President's Administration., 20 Sep 2016 - 16:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

Austria is opening its first ever Embassy in Georgia’s capital.

The Embassy will open on Griboedovi St in central Tbilisi on Thursday, September 22.

For this occasion, Secretary General of Austria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Michael Linhart will pay an official visit to Georgia, starting tomorrow.

While in Georgia the Austrian official will hold bilateral meetings with Georgian officials. He is also scheduled to visit the European Union’s Monitoring Mission (EUMM) field office in Mtskheta, several kilometres north of Tbilisi, and the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) dividing breakaway Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region from the rest of Georgia.

"The opening of an Austrian Embassy is expected to strengthen relations between the two countries in political, economic and cultural fields,” the Embassy said in a statement.

Strategic geopolitical location and European aspirations make the country an important player in the region.”
Being the front-runner and a successful partner within the EU Eastern Partnership Initiative, Georgia is considered to have a high potential for further deepening economic relations.”
Also, Georgia remains a priority country for the Austrian Development Cooperation.”

The opening ceremony of the new Austrian Embassy will take place on September 22, followed by speeches of Ambassador Linhart and Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia Gigi Gigiadze.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Austria in Georgia, Arad Benko, will be Head of Mission.

Austria first announced it would open an Embassy in Tbilisi in January 2015.

At the time, as part of cost cutting measures, plans were in place for the country to close its Embassies in the Baltic States and Malta and to open diplomatic representations in other "strategically important countries”, including Georgia, Moldova and Belarus.