Aehrenthal, Alois Lexa, Graf von

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Alois Lexa Aehrenthal, 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 Herzegovina. The Russian foreign minister, Izvolsky, 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.