Jerusalem, 2 February 2000

PM Barak and FM Levy: Israel to Recall Ambassador from Vienna

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

In light of the latest political developments in Austria, Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister David Levy decided this morning (Wednesday), 2.2.2000, that in the event that Austrian President Thomas Klestil approves the planned coalition agreement, they will recall Israel’s Ambassador to Austria for an unlimited period.

Israel views with utmost gravity the inclusion of the extreme right-wing Freedom Party led by Joerg Haider in the Austrian government and calls on the international community not to accept this worrying phenomenon. Prime Minister Barak pointed out that the inclusion of an extreme right-wing party, whose leader has previously made serious remarks regarding the Nazi regime, in the Austrian government must arouse the entire free world.

Prime Minister Barak said that the entire Jewish people, led by the State of Israel, will not allow the world to ignore events in Austria and their possible implications. The Prime Minister added that starting today he will be in contact with European leaders in order to try to coordinate comprehensive international measures. He emphasized that humanity in general, and the residents of Europe in particular, must remember daily the message of the Holocaust and the hard lessons which the history of the 1930s and 1940s has taught us.