Austrian president honors Kuwaiti ambassador Sadiq Marafi for strengthening bilateral ties

The Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen has decided to honor His Excellency Assistant Foreign Minister Ambassador Sadiq Marafi with a high ranking award that recognizes Ambassador Marafi’s exceptional efforts in promoting bilateral relations between Kuwait and Austria.

On May 27, 2024, Austrian Ambassador to Kuwait, Mr. Marian Alexander Wrba, presented the Grand Decoration of Honor in Gold with Star of the Republic of Austria to Ambassador Marafi at the Austrian Residence.

Ambassador Sadiq Marafi served as Kuwait’s ambassador to Austria for over nine years, significantly enriching the relationship between the two nations. During his tenure, he was highly active and dedicated to strengthening the traditionally friendly ties between Kuwait and Austria. He also played a prominent role among the group of Arab ambassadors to Austria.

Sadiq Marafi has been instrumental in enhancing political contacts with Austrian foreign policy. Notable diplomatic achievements include facilitating Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl’s visit to Kuwait in December 2018 and Austrian Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s visit in March 2019. Additionally, he was pivotal in agreeing upon a Memorandum of Understanding on regular political consultations between the Foreign Ministries of Kuwait and Austria that the Austrian and Kuwaiti Foreign Ministers signed during the official visit of HE Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to Vienna in June 2023.

Beyond his diplomatic and political contributions, Austria recognizes Sadiq Marafi’s important role in promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue between the Arab world and Europe. Being chairman of the Council of Arab Ambassadors in Vienna, he also collaborated with the Austrian Foreign Ministry to organize the Austrian-Arab Cultural Year 2020. This initiative included a festival concert at the Viennese Hofburg by the Kuwaiti JACC Orchestra, which Marafi brought to Vienna, garnering substantial positive attention from the Austrian public.

In addition to his ambassadorial duties, Sadiq Marafi has been an essential member of the board of the Ban Ki-moon Centre in Vienna since its inception, providing significant support to its work.
As a key decision-maker in the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry, Sadiq Marafi will continue to play an essential role in fostering cooperation between Kuwait and the European countries, the European Union, and Austria.

In addition to substantial trade volume with growth potential and major Austrian investments in Kuwait, such as the construction and operation of one of the world’s largest and most modern sewage treatment plants in Umm Al-Hayman, Kuwait is a crucial regional political partner for Austria. Austria considers Kuwait an important mediator and bridge builder in the region, making it a vital point of contact in the Gulf and the Middle East.

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