Photo: Manuel Schmelzer
I would never have thought that I would write you this letter one day! Haven’t I just arrived in the U.S. some days ago? Well, no, it has been two and a half years, but time has passed by so fast thanks to a flurry of activities at the embassy, a lot of travels (not enough!), and many visitors from Austria, among them most notably Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger.
There is no doubt that the friendship between the United States and Austria is flourishing. I would like to take this opportunity to thank, first and foremost, my staff at the Embassy, but also all of you for your help and for your commitment to Austria. It was a pleasure to get to know many of you personally and to work with you, be it in Washington or in other regions of this wonderful country. I am sure that you will keep the flame of love for Austria alive.
I will retire on November 30, having reached the threshold foreseen by the law. My successor, Hans-Peter Manz, who is presently the Austrian Ambassador to Switzerland, will arrive on Dec. 1st. Hans-Peter is an outstanding Austrian diplomat and I know that you will work with him with the same dedication that I have enjoyed in my time as your ambassador.
I wish you all the best for your careers and your personal well-being. We all know that life is short and that we have to make the best of it. In this country, this is fortunately easier than in many other countries of the world. Keep up the good work!
With warm regards,