Aehrenthal, Alois Lexa, Graf von

Aehrenthal, Alois Lexa, Graf von

(ä`lōēs lāk`sä gräf fən âr`əntäl), 1854–1912, Austro-Hungarian foreign minister (1906–12). The chief event of his ministry was the Austrian annexation (1908) of Bosnia and HerzegovinaBosnia and Herzegovina
, Serbo-Croatian Bosna i Hercegovina, country (2013 pop. 3,791,622), 19,741 sq mi (51,129 sq km), on the Balkan peninsula, S Europe. It is bounded by Croatia on the west and north, Serbia on the northeast, and Montenegro on the southeast.
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. The Russian foreign minister, IzvolskyIzvolsky, Aleksandr Petrovich
, 1856–1919, Russian diplomat instrumental in fostering the Triple Entente with France and Great Britain. He rose in the diplomatic service and in 1906 was appointed foreign minister by Czar Nicholas II.
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, agreed secretly to the annexation in return for Aehrenthal's promise of Austrian support for the opening of the Dardanelles to Russian warships. After the annexation, England, Serbia, and Russia opposed the secret agreement. A possible European war in 1909 was ended by German mediation. The signatory powers of the Congress of Berlin (1878), including Russia, ratified the annexation.