Austrian Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs Karin Kneissl visits Raisu-l-Ulama

Sarajevo (MINA) – Raisu-l-Ulama of the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Husein effendi Kavazović, received a visit from Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Austria, Karin Kneissl, earlier today. The topic of the meeting were the relations between B&H and Austrian state institutions. Raisu-l-Ulama pointed out that the friendship between the Republic of Austria and the IC in B&H is strong and that any open issues should be resolved in the spirit of historical friendship between our nations rather than through spreading unverified insinuations in the media.

He pointed out the fruitful cooperation between the IC in B&H and the Republic of Austria in organizing a conference on legal framework for Islam in the European context and the issue of state and religion in Austria and B&H as part of the project of Year of B&H and Austrian Cultures 2016.

There was also word of a problematic ÖlF publication which contained a non-scientific, malicious text on Muslims in this region. Raisu-l-Ulama said that friends can speak frankly and that it is unacceptable for many people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and against the BH constitution for state officials of another country to visit some parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina as though those parts were a sovereign country, all the while sending malicious, separatist messages which can have serious implications for the future of this country and its peoples.

At the end, Raisu-l-Ulama pointed to the fact that, throughout history, the Republic of Austria had maintained good relations not only with B&H, but also with Bosniaks as a nation, Muslims among them and their Islamic Community, saying that he hoped that this meeting would help further strengthen those relations.

Apart from the Minister, the meeting was attended by Martin Pammer, Austrian ambassador to B&H; Klaus Wölfer, head of the Department for Western Balkans and EU Enlargement, and Minister Counsellor Wolfgang Thill of Austrian Embassy in B&H.

Apart from the Raisu-l-Ulama, the meeting was also attended by Razim Čolić, director of the Department of External Affairs and the Diaspora of the Riyasat of the IC in B&H, Muhamed Jugo, expert associate at the Department, and Muhamed Jusić, media advisor to Raisu-l-Ulama.

In his statement for MINA news agency, Director Čolić said that the IC in B&H is happy for this visit, given the fact that the Islamic Community has always maintained good relations with the Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs.

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