Polish, Austrian presidents attend reopening of Austria’s consulate

Jacek Bednarczyk/PAP

The presidents of Poland and Austria, Andrzej Duda and Alexander Van der Bellen, attended a ceremony of the reopening of the Austrian Consulate General in Krakow, southern Poland, on Tuesday.

During the ceremony, President Duda said that following the fall of the Iron Curtain, the Austrian mission in Krakow was a friendly hand stretched out towards Poland. The president said that links with Austria are of great "historical" importance in Krakow. He expressed hope that the consulate would not only conduct state, diplomatic and official activities, but also promote various fields of life, including culture.

Duda said that there are many fields of cooperation between Poland and Austria. "Vienna is an important place on the political map of Europe and the world," said the president.

Duda said that the opening of the new seat of the Austrian Consulate-General in Krakow testifies to the development of Polish-Austrian relations. "The fact that the consulate is returning to this place, that cooperation at the diplomatic level is developing, reflects closer cooperation between (the two) countries," he said.

President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen pointed out that the consulate general that was opened in Krakow in 1990 was an important element for the cultural, art and science milieus and also became a place where Austrian business entities were supported while they invested in Poland.

The Austrian president said the reopened representation is to become "a contact point, an anchor of relations between Poland and Austria, between Krakow and Vienna." "Above all, it is to be a place presenting a modern Austria."

The Consulate General of Austria has been reopened at the same place where it had operated until 2013. Later, Austria was represented in Krakow by Honorary Consul Andrzej Tombinski for six years.