Netanyahu Congratulates Austrian Chancellor-Elect

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made a congratulatory call on Monday to Sebastian Kurz on his victory in Austria’s elections.

A statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office made no mention of the likelihood that Kurz’s People’s Party, which received a projected 31.7 percent of the vote, would form a coalition with the far-right& Freedom Party, which took 26 percent. In 1999, Israel recalled its ambassador after the latter party, then led by Jörg Haider, became a partner in the government. The Freedom Party was founded by former Nazis in the 1950s.

The PMO did say that Netanyahu told Kurz, “Austria has done much in recent years to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and in its fight against anti-Semitism.” He also raised the issue of “Iranian aggression,” according to the statement.

Netanyahu invited Kurz to visit Israel. He was last in the country in May 2016 as foreign minister. Kurz said he would try to come soon.