The Embassy and Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Vienna


The Embassy


The cooperation framework between Afghanistan and the IAEA hinges on four important investments—Radiation Safety Infrastructure, Food and Agriculture, Human Health and Nutrition, and Human Capital Development. Concerning health, Ambassador Bakhtari commended the Director-General for initiating the ZODIAC Project. This project preemptively organizes a global response if another pandemic should ever occur. The IAEA demonstrated its commitment to this goal in the last year. In fact, the IAEA provided vital support to Afghanistan throughout this global health crisis.

In particular, Afghanistan greatly appreciates the IAEA’s initiatives to expand comprehensive cancer care for women affected by cervical and breast cancer in the world’s poorest countries. Ambassador Bakhtari discussed the importance of the continuation of our joint efforts in addressing breast cancer and cervical cancer in Afghanistan by providing appropriate treatments through IAEA’s projects and technical cooperation.

With the gaining momentum in the Afghan peace process, Afghanistan increases its capacity to undertake joint initiatives. Afghanistan intends to take concrete measures and plan for the future. In particular, Ambassador Bakhtari plans to facilitate women’s participation in these projects and achieve full gender parity. Achieving this goal depends on frameworks such as the Group of Friends for Women, the International Gender Champions, and the ICG Vienna Representation Impact Group.

The technical assistance and cooperation initiatives provided by the IAEA remain vital for Afghanistan. In this meeting, this partnership was further cemented.

Ambassador Manizha Bakhtari presented her credentials to H.E. Ms. Ghada Waly, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV)

The UNODC has provided valuable protection and support to the people of Afghanistan in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, while continuing to support the country in the areas of alternative development, anti-corruption, and counter-narcotics. Among these efforts are law enforcement, criminal justice, curbing drug use, addressing HIV/AIDS among drug users, and providing alternative livelihoods. These are only a few of the critical joint initiatives between UNODC and Kabul. Ms. Ghada Waly and the UNODC can count on our unwavering dedication to this partnership.

In this meeting, they discussed ways to strengthen the coordination of initiatives between Afghanistan and the UNODC. This meeting reiterates both Ambassador Bakhtari and her country’s commitment to eradicating narcotics in Afghanistan.

Ambassador Manizha Bakhtari presented Letters of Credence to H.E. Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal President of the Republic of Austria


In this meeting, Ambassador Bahktari extended the warmest greetings and best wishes from President H.E. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and discussed ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries. The excellent diplomatic relations between the two countries were established during the 1950s and have been strengthened and developed across many sectors ranging from culture, education, to sports and trade.

Discussed extensively in the meeting was also the Afghan Peace Process, integration, and repatriation of Afghan citizens. The Embassy serves and protects the interests of the Afghan community in Austria and encourages the Afghan diaspora to further contribute to the relations between our two countries.

Ambassador Bahktari expressed her gratitude to the Austrian Government and people for their continued support to Afghanistan and concluded by stating that she looks forward to strengthening further the bilateral relationship between Austria and Afghanistan.


Dear Readers,

Welcome to the official website of the Embassy and Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Vienna.

Together with my able team at the Embassy and Permanent Mission, I have started a very rewarding task: to serve the Afghan citizens in Austria and to promote Afghanistan’s bilateral and multilateral interests.

The I.R. of Afghanistan and the Republic of Austria have a long-standing relationship, based on mutual respect, at the bilateral level and within the framework of cooperation between Afghanistan and the European Union. Continuing to foster our bilateral relations with the host-country Austria is a priority for my team and I.

Furthermore, the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Vienna has non-resident bilateral responsibilities with Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, and Liechtenstein. The Embassy team seeks to serve the interests of Afghans by providing efficient consular services to Afghans residing there. The Embassy and I will make every effort to strengthen our bilateral relations with accredited countries and expand tangible frameworks of cooperation.

Vienna is one of the most important diplomatic representations of Afghanistan – particularly considering our excellent bilateral relations and the fact that Vienna hosts one of the three regional UN headquarters and organizations including CTBTO, IACA, IAEA, ICMPD, INCB, OSCE, UNIDO, UNOV/UNODC, and the OSCE Secretariat. In our work with International Organizations we will – inter alia – advocate for programs and projects for Afghan stakeholders to be designed to make a meaningful difference in the country. Investing in human capital is investing in the future of Afghanistan. We appreciate the educational and training programmes for Afghan stakeholders – bolstering our national capacity is vital for our national re-development efforts. Furthermore, the Mission here in Vienna will seek to contribute to the improved coordination of the activities of regional and international organizations in Afghanistan and the region.

I want to acknowledge the great achievements Afghan citizens have made here in Austria. I want to encourage Afghans in Austria to further contribute to the relations between our two countries. The diaspora plays a crucial role in reciprocally stimulating the relations between Austria and Afghanistan. Education is a priority for Afghan youth, and I will work hard to further encourage and increase the provision of scholarships and fellowship programmes for Afghan students in Austria while promoting diversity and interculturality with the aim of closing the cultural gaps.

My position requires me to promote the interests of my country, in politics and economy as well as culture and academia. I will pursue these goals with utmost determination both at the bilateral level with the Republic of Austria and on the multilateral level with the Vienna-based international organizations. During my term, I will focus on the following three areas: peace-building, state-building, and economic investment in Afghanistan and Afghan products.

Afghanistan has made great progress since 2001 in all areas of our lives, including education for girls and boys and equal rights for women and men. The women in Afghanistan have made great achievements over recent years. They are making history in reclaiming their roles in all spheres of our society, thereby reflecting the ongoing change in our country. We have planted the seeds of hope with a view to transforming threats into opportunities. Today, we are a democracy and our people are dreaming of a life in a modern, prosperous, and peaceful country. We have kick-started our economy; we are rooting-out corrupt practices; we have free media and a functioning civil society; we recognize human rights and are committed to fully implement our international obligations.

The people of Afghanistan are tired of war and crisis in the last half-century. Afghanistan has lost its children and its economic infrastructure. We hope that the peace talks in Doha will bring positive results and lead to enduring and sustainable peace, social justice, and economic prosperity in the country. Peace and security are closely related to state-building and investment. Afghanistan has great economic potential and prosperous resources. The Government of Afghanistan is providing investment opportunities and is ready to cooperate with our international partners. Let me also encourage all Afghans in Austria to contribute to the rebuilding of their homeland by providing expertise, investments, professional skills, and ideas. I invite Afghans abroad and the host country to invest in Afghanistan and to facilitate economic exchanges and the import of Afghan-made products. The Afghan Embassy in Vienna welcomes any such ventures and would be honored to cooperate in furthering economic prosperity. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are interested in working or investing in Afghanistan.

Historically Afghanistan has been an important part of connectivity and trade in the Region and this is the time to revise this heritage.  Afghanistan should not be perceived in a development context only. Afghanistan holds vast opportunities in terms of our abundant natural resources, nascent trade agreements, and growing networks of transport and energy representing the great economic promise of a more integrated South and Central Asia. We have good prospects in Afghanistan and you are invited to participate in realizing them, at the toehold of the Eurasian land bridge at the heart of Asia.

During my time here, I plan to explore the rich culture of this part of Europe. I will visit museums, galleries, historic heritages, and academic entities to learn more about art, culture, history, and humanity. I admire Vienna for its artistic, cultural, and intellectual legacy as well as its position as a hub for international dialogues.

Sincerely yours,

Manizha Bakhtari

Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the Republic of Austria


H.E. Manizha Bakhtari is a diplomat, lecturer, and author. She was formerly Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Nordic Countries (2009-2015) and served as the Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul (2007-2009).

Prior to her diplomatic career, Ms. Bakhtari was renowned for her work on gender advocacy in the non-profit sector, namely with the Cooperation Center for Afghanistan. During her time there, she traveled across Afghanistan, aiming to implement global gender equality standards and raise awareness.

Ms. Bakhtari received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Kabul University and her master’s degree from the university’s Persian Literature Department. She later served as a lecturer at her alma mater.

Ms. Bakhtari has published hundreds of academic and journalistic articles, as well as seven academic books. Her most notable books, Jahan-e Delangize Khabar and Akhalq wa Huquq dar journalism, were previously used as textbooks in the Journalism Faculty of Kabul University, and encompass her analysis on reporting methods in news media and her research on journalistic ethics and regulations. Ms. Bakhtari also writes fiction. Her short stories are often centered around the experiences of women and the socio-cultural dynamics of the Afghan society.

In recent years, Ms. Bakhtari took up social work with the Salvation Army and Ishtar Women’s Resource Society in Vancouver, Canada where she employed harm reduction policies to resolve issues of homelessness, poverty, addiction, and domestic violence.

Ms. Bakhtari is married to Naser Hotaki. They have four children Mariam Hotaki, Mustafa Kamal Hotaki, Nosheen Hotaki, and Parnian Hotaki.

The United States Contributes $3.4 Million to UNODC’s Container Control Programme (CCP) in Afghanistan

These programmes have the purpose of training Afghan authorities in identifying and stopping the distribution of illicit goods, while facilitating the movement of legitimate merchandise. In 2019, Afghan port control units trained by CCP staff conducted 131 significant seizures. This includes over 6,000 grams of heroin, 75 metric tons of precursor chemicals, 100 kilograms of explosives, four rocket launchers, 2,000 boxes of falsified medicines, and over 650,000 USD, 90,000 Euros, 128,300 Saudi Riyals, 75,800 AED, 140,000 Indian Rupees in undeclared currency.

The Permanent Mission and Embassy of Afghanistan expresses utmost gratitude to the United States for its continued contributions to peace and security in Afghanistan. Afghanistan attaches great importance to the strong relationship with the United States of America, and appreciates its support to Afghanistan within the UNODC framework.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel Urges for Genuine Partnerships and Multilateral Responses as a Means to Respond to Global Security Challenges

In her statement, the Ambassador stated that regional cooperation remains key in addressing regional challenges and threats in Asia. Afghanistan, being located on the Eurasian land bridge, possesses, historically and contemporarily, a key strategic geographical position connecting Central and South Asia to Europe. Afghanistan’s strategic position and geography allows for the opportunity of integrating Central, West, East and South Asia into a network that supports stability and prosperity over a vast area of the world’s surface.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel affirmed that only by reinvigorating our cooperation and multilateral responses will we [Asian Partners for Co-operation in the OSCE] be able to stay relevant in this rapidly changing global, political, economic, social and humanitarian landscape. She continued by commending the progress achieved so far by the Asian Partners for Co-operations group in the OSCE, and stated that Afghanistan is committed to developing and strengthening long-term cooperation with the OSCE to better tackle global security challenges.

Director-General Ahmad Shuja Jamal participated as a panelist under “Session 1: Regional Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) and Exchanges of Best Practices between Europe and Asia”. He particularly covered one dimension of security: regional confidence and security-building measures, a recurring theme for the OSCE Asian Partnership.

Ambassador H.E. Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel attends the 64th IAEA General Conference

The 64th IAEA General Conference started with the opening statement of the IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi, which stated that the IAEA continues to work arduously to prevent the misuse of nuclear material during the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighted the equipment contributions the IAEA has made for combating the coronavirus.

During the plenary session of the IAEA General Conference, Dr. Tahir Sharan, Director-General of Afghanistan’s Atomic Energy High Commission delivered a statement thanking the IAEA, and its Director-General H.E Rafael Mariano Grossi, for the efforts made in supporting the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the support of the IAEA, the Afghanistan National Nuclear Regulatory Authority has managed to finalize three regulations on licensing, transportation, and nuclear waste. Additionally, Dr. Tahir Sharan spotlighted that Afghanistan, with the support of its main implementing partner, Afghanistan Nuclear Energy Agency, has started to implement the projects defined in the Country Programme Framework signed at the IAEA’s 63rd General Conference last year.  The projects will last until 2023 and center around Radiation Safety Infrastructure, Food and Agriculture, Human Health and Nutrition, and Human Capital Development.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel participated in a plethora of Side Events scheduled at this year’s General Conference. The event “A Global Voice on Gender Equality in Nuclear: The Role of the IAEA” illustrated the importance of equal representation in the nuclear sector and of challenging the status quo to build a better future for all. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel attended this important event to support and speak to the new generation of Afghan women leaders in nuclear science and technology and assured Afghanistan’s full support to the launch of the IAEA Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellowship Programme.

Additionally, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel attended the IAEA-IsDB’s (Islamic Development Bank) event on the initiative “Saving Women’s Lives From Cancer”. The initiative expands comprehensive cancer care for women affected by cervical and breast cancer in the world’s poorest countries. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel attended this side event to state the importance of providing technical support to developing countries to combat breast cancer. One of the main priorities of the strategic plan of the Embassy and the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna is strengthening technical cooperation in the area of health, health for Afghan women, and general cancer support treatments for Afghanistan. IAEA support for Afghanistan in the areas of capacity building and training in areas related to cervical and breast cancer is of utmost importance.


Having been named after Marie Sklodowska-Curie, twice Nobel Prize Winner, the fellowship Program aims to serve as a beacon of inspiration and encouragement for future female STEM leaders. Fellowships will be awarded annually and will reach exactly 100 female students per year. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel views this initiative as paramount to encouraging Afghan women to pursue a professional career in nuclear science and technology.

Afghanistan reiterates its gratitude for the continuous support of the IAEA to Afghanistan, particularly concerning IAEA-organized educational and training programs for Afghan stakeholders and reaffirms its commitment to gender equality and women empowerment. We remain optimistic about the future of Afghan women and hopeful that through continuous cooperation with the IAEA, significant progress will be made with regards to gender parity in the field of nuclear security.

Ambassador Erfani attends the New Year’s Reception hosted by President Dr. Heinz Fischer

The Ambassador had the opportunity to briefly discuss a number of issues with the Federal President, including the completed transition process in Afghanistan and the opportunities and challenges in the upcoming Decade of Transformation (2015-2024) in Afghanistan. Mr. Ambassador also informed the President about the cabinet nominations presented to the Afghan parliament.

Ambassador Erfani expressed his gratitude for the continued generous support from Austria, both on the bilateral level and through European Union and other multilateral channels.

Ambassador Erfani also conveyed the best wishes to the Federal President and to the people of Austria from the President of Afghanistan, H.E. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

President Fischer delivered a comprehensive speech, analyzing current global developments and making reference to Austrian policies:  “Also in this New Year, we will strive to contribute to a positive and peaceful development in the international realm.” The President also condemned in strongest terms the barbaric murders in Paris and commended the response given by France calling it “absolutely impressive and convincing”.

Ambassador Erfani was accompanied by the Deputy Head of Mission, Minister-Counsellor Mr. Abdul Wahab Arian, and by the Second Secretary Mrs. Fatima Frozish.

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