Austria and Middle Eastern countries - Read the latest headlines about bilateral relations in the areas of economy, diplomacy, culture and tourism
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Bilateral Relations between Middle Eastern Countries and Austria

Austria Welcomes 6 New Ambassadors from Armenia, Mali, Namibia, North Macedonia, Trinidad and Tobago and Turkey

On March 19, 2019, Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen welcomed six newly accredited Ambassadors to Austria to the Presidential Chancellery of the Vienna Imperial Palace for the presentation of their letter of accreditation.

March 20, 2019

Meet the New Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Austria: H.E. Mr. Ümit Yardim

The new Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Austria, H.E. Mr. Ümit Yardim presented Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen with his letter of accreditation at the Vienna Hofburg.

March 19, 2019

Iraqi Expert Roundtable in Vienna - How to Reconstruct the City of Mosul?

More than 70 experts from Iraq, Austria and the relevant international community met in Vienna at the invitation of the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce to discuss the reconstruction of the devastated northern Iraqi city of Mosul and find solutions. Here is the report of the Expert's Round Table on the Reconstruction of the City of Mosul.

March 14, 2019

Is Benko's Chrysler Deal in the Big Apple a Bargain?

The New York property firm RFR Holding LLC of German-American Aby J. Rosen, together with Signa Holding of Tyrolean real estate investor Rene Benko, is buying the traditional Chrysler Building in New York City for around 150 million dollars. The land is not part of the deal and the rent amounted to USD 32.5 million in 2018 and will continue to rise to USD 41 million a year by 2028.

March 11, 2019

Emir of Qatar Struggling for Survival Visited Vienna

The 38 year old Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, who 5 years ago ascended the throne as successor of his father Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and is now fighting under pressure of his neighbours, especially Saudi Arabia, for the survival of his monarchy, came to an official visit to Austria to talk about business.

March 7, 2019

Saudi Arabia Closes Controversial Private School in Vienna

Saudi Arabia closes the controversial Saudi School Vienna in Vienna's Landstrasse district. The Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Vienna sees "better" opportunities for integration into the local community by visiting other schools in Vienna.

February 27, 2019

Fight Against Anti-Semitism - The Jewish Community in NYC and Austria

As part of his trip to the USA, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz met David Harris, Executive Director of the AJC American Jewish Committee, and once again Holocaust survivor Rabbi Arthur Schneier.

February 21, 2019

Austria Boosts Funds for the Battle against Female Genital Mutilation

In the context of the International Day against FGM - Female Genital Mutilation, both the Austrian Foreign Ministry and the AIF - Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF - Österreichische Integrationsfonds), which is largely financed by the Austrian Foreign Ministry, are increasing the financial resources amounting to € 6 million for the international fight against FGM. This day commemorates the fact that around 200 million girls and women worldwide are affected by female genital mutilation. In Austria alone, 8,000 women with a migration background are affected.

February 6, 2019

Israel and Austria Sign Agreement on Continued Business Cooperation

On the sidelines of the state visit to Israel and the Austrian-Israeli Business Forum at the Hotel Intercontinental in Tel Aviv, the Economy ministers from Israel and Austria signed an agreement to accelerate business and entrepreneurial cooperation.

February 6, 2019

Visit to the Palestinian Territories: Austria's Van der Bellen for a Two-State Solution

Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah: "We are friends of Israel AND of the Palestinians. We want to deepen relations with both sides". Mahmoud Abbas thanked Austria for the "historical relationships" cultivated since Bruno Kreisky.

February 5, 2019

Israel State Visit: "Austria is jointly responsible for the Shoah"

During his state visit to Israel, Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen emphasised Austria's co-responsibility for the Shoah. In the Holocaust memorial Jad Vaschem Van der Bellen bowed before the Jewish victims of National Socialism. Meanwhile, as expected, there is no lifting of the boycott against Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl or members of the Freedom Party's cabinet.

February 4, 2019

Business Mission and "Future Trip" to Tel Aviv as Part of the State Visit of Van der Bellen

On the occasion of the official state visit of Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, the Austrian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WKO) is organising an economic mission entitled "Infrastructure" as well as the "Open Innovation for Corporates" future trip to Tel Aviv.

February 4, 2019

Austrian-Israeli Economic Relations - 20% Increase in Exports

On the occasion of the official state visit of Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen and the accompanying business delegation of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, the issue of the actual state of economic relations has arisen. The Austrian-Israeli foreign trade volume amounted to 568 million euros in 2017, with a trade balance surplus for Austria of 229 million euros. The Chamber of Commerce reports that Austrian exports to Israel increased by 20.3% in 2017. The trend seems to have continued in 2018. More than 600,000 overnight stays by Israeli tourists make Israel one of the top nations in Austrian tourism statistics.

February 4, 2019

Meet the Ambassador of the State of Israel to Austria: H.E. Ms. Talya Lador-Fresher

Ambassador Talya Lador-Fresher has been Ambassador of the State of Israel in Austria since 2015 and is Israel's permanent representative at the International Organizations in Vienna. She once told "The Diplomatic Club", that "It is hard to be a diplomat, it is harder to be an Israeli diplomat and even harder to be an Israeli woman diplomat."

January 30, 2019

Holocaust Remembrance Day in Vienna: "We Remember"

On 27 January, the 74th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp by the Red Army was celebrated. On the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day various commemorative events were held in Vienna, among others by the Vienna Israelite Community at Heldenplatz.

January 29, 2019

OMV Acquires 2.2 Billion Euro Share in United Arab Emirates Refinery

Austrian OMV and the state-owned oil company of the United Arab Emirates, Adnoc, announced that OMV has acquired a 15 percent stake in Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company. Thereby OMV establishes a major downstream Oil position. In addition, OMV will acquire a 15 percent stake in a trade joint venture with export volumes equivalent to around 70% of production.

January 28, 2019

Current Austrian Ambassador to Israel to Become Top Diplomat in the United States

Ambassador Martin Weiss, the current Ambassador in Tel Aviv and former Speaker of the Austrian Foreign Ministry, will become the new Austrian Ambassador in Washington D.C., USA.

January 24, 2019

Meet the Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to Austria: H.E. Mr. Yousuf Ahmed Hamed Aljabri

The new Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to Austria, H.E. Mr. Yousuf Ahmed Hamed Aljabri presented Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen with his letter of accreditation at the Vienna Hofburg.

January 9, 2019

New Austrian Foreign Trade Strategy: Growth, Jobs, Prosperity

In a joint event in the Aula of Sciences, the Federal Government's new foreign trade strategy was presented by Economics Minister Margarete Schramböck, Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl and President of the Chamber of Commerce Harald Mahrer. The key points of the strategy are the following: Perspective, value orientation, location effect, focal points, future orientation, communication, efficient coordination.

December 20, 2018

Austria's State Leaders Receive Authoritarian Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (Abd al-Fattah as-Sisi) also visited the Federal President, the Federal Chancellor and the Federal Parliament on the fringes of the EU-Africa Forum (High-Level Forum Africa-Europe), at which he received a EUR 350m commitment from the EIB to finance the expansion of the Cairo Metro. Every meeting emphasised that bilateral relations between Austria and Egypt were very good and that cooperation was to be extended. The former General, who is controversial because of his authoritarian style of government, had already made a clear rejection of the so-called "disembarkation platforms" in Egypt to the EU Council President Sebastian Kurz in Cairo during the summer.

December 19, 2018

High-Level Forum Africa-Europe - EIB Signs 3 Africa Projects Totalling Half a Billion Euros

At the Africa‑Europe High‑Level Forum in Vienna the European Investment Bank formally agreed a total of EUR 495 million of new financing for three projects in ten countries to support sustainable transport, clean energy and internet access projects in North, West and East Africa.

December 19, 2018

Austria to Open Embassy in Oman in 2019

Next year, the Austrian Foreign Ministry plans to reopen the Embassy in Muscat, the capital and largest city of Oman, which was closed for budget reasons in 2012.

December 13, 2018

Sebastian Kurz: EU and Switzerland to Intensify Relations Further

Federal Chancellor Kurz held a working meeting with Swiss President Alain Berset in Bern. The meeting focused on, among other topics, an assessment of Brexit, the Western Balkans, the nuclear agreement with Iran, relations with Russia and the priorities of the Austrian EU Presidency.

November 22, 2018

Anti-Semitism Conference in Vienna - Austria to Win Israel's Favor

A high-ranking conference against antisemitism with the motto "Europe beyond Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism - Securing Jewish Life in Europe" took place in Vienna. Participants included Ariel Muzicant, Vice-President of the European Jewish Congress (EJC), Education Minister Heinz Faßmann, EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova, EPP Group Leader Manfred Weber, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Anatoliyovych Klimkin and Chancellor Kurz. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had had to cancel his participation at short notice because of the government crisis in his home country. Likewise not a single official representative of the Austrian Freedom Party was present.

November 22, 2018

The OPEC Fund OFID Has A New Director-General

Saudi Arabian national Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa has taken over the post of Director-General of the OFID (OPEC Fund for International Development) from his predecessor Suleiman J Al-Herbish at the former Palais Deutschmeister at Vienna's Parkring 8. His task is to implement OFID's objective, which is to reinforce financial cooperation between OPEC Member Countries and other developing countries, by providing financial support to the latter for their socioeconomic development.

November 22, 2018

Updated Directory of Foreign Ambassadors in Austria 2019

Below you will find the updated Vindobona list of foreign ambassadors and representatives of the bilateral and multilateral missions and representations in Vienna, Austria (including description of persons, pictures, CVs, etc.).

November 19, 2018 · Updated: March 20, 2019; 08:32

Naturalizations in Austria in 2018 on the Rise

Austrian citizenship was granted to a total of 6,971 persons in the first three quarters of 2018. The Bosnians are ahead, followed by Turks, Serbs and Kosovars. In total, there were 115 more naturalisations than in the same period of the previous year (+1.7%).

November 15, 2018

80 Years of November Pogrom - Remembrance at the Site of the Former Leopoldstadt Temple, at Judenplatz near the Shoah Memorial and in Parliament

Austria commemorated the events 80 years ago. Austrian Shoah survivors from Israel received in Parliament at the Hofburg. President of the National Council Sobotka asked Austrian Shoah survivors for forgiveness. Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen already reminded the day before at a commemoration ceremony of the November pogroms at the Psychosocial Centre of the Vienna Israelite Community. On the commemoration day he laid a wreath at the Shoah memorial on Judenplatz.

November 9, 2018

Erection of the Vienna Shoah Memorial Wall about to Begin

The long-planned project of a name memorial wall for the 66,000 Jews murdered in Austria during National Socialism is about to be realized. Kurt Tutter, initiator of the name wall, explained the significance of the new memorial, which will be erected in Ostarrichi Park. For him, it was a matter of commemorating his family as well as families unknown to him who had been completely wiped out by Nazi crimes.

November 9, 2018

Reception for Holocaust Survivors in the Austrian Parliament: "Never again!"

Rabbi Arthur Schneier from New York, speaking at the reception for Holocaust survivors in parliament, called for a common commitment to "Never again" and to live together in peace and mutual respect.

November 9, 2018

Eastern Partnership Youth Conference "Youth for Entrepreneurship" Opened in Vienna

Young people (between 18-30 years) from the EU’s Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), interested in developing an entrepreneurial idea or social enterprise, are discussing in Vienna the state of youth entrepreneurship in the partner countries and learn about EU and national programmes for youth entrepreneurship as well as what steps to take to become a young entrepreneur.

November 9, 2018

Tunisian-Austrian Business Relations about to be Expanded

The Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC) and the Embassy of the Republic of Tunisia in Austria are organizing a networking event under the general theme "Economic Forum on Tunisia". Representatives of companies and institutions from Tunisia, Austria and other Arab countries are expected on 20 November at the SO/Vienna (former "Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom").

October 30, 2018

Khashoggi Case: Austria Increases Pressure on Saudi Arabia

The Austrian Foreign Ministry is now having the legal status of the controversial King Abdullah Centre (KAICIID) reviewed. The Centre has been criticised by representatives of civil society who are concerned with Saudi Arabia's poor human-rights record in fears that the KAICIID would in fact be misused by founding member and chief financier Saudi Arabia as a bridge-head for spreading Wahhabism in Austria and Europe.

October 22, 2018

Karin Kneissl at the Foreign Affairs Council - Khashoggi, Libya, Venezuela and the Eastern Partnership

Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl met with Federica Mogherini and the other EU Foreign Ministers at the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg to discuss the situation in Libya, migration issues, the EU's Eastern Partnership, and the case of the missing Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

October 16, 2018

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Vienna

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin met Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen during a stopover in Vienna. Bilateral relations and the situation in the Middle East were discussed.

October 12, 2018

Austro-Arab Energy Community Meets in Vienna to Discuss International Cooperation

The 10th Arab-Austrian Economic Forum & Exhibition took place in Vienna yesterday, organized by the AACC Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the City of Vienna and the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RECREEE). Under the general theme "Energy Transition - Urban Technology and Sustainable Cities", New Opportunities for International Cooperation and Partnerships, representatives from EU institutions, international organizations, funds, European and international financial institutions as well as ministers and high-ranking personalities from the Arab economy met representatives of the local economy, politics and business community. Participants included Nabil R. Kuzbari, Richard Schenz, Michael Ludwig, Omar Al-Rawi, Mahdi Allak, Johannes Peterlik, Samir Koubaa, Michael Esterl and Li Yong.

October 2, 2018

Ambassador Leena Al-Hadid Takes Over as New Chairperson of IAEA Board of Governors

The new Jordanian Ambassador to Austria and to the international organizations in Vienna, H.E. Mrs. Leena Al-Hadid, who recently presented Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen with her letter of accreditation at the Vienna Hofburg, was also elected this week by the IAEA Board of Governors as the Chairperson of the IAEA's Board of Governors for 2018-2019.

September 28, 2018

Israel - Austria Relations: Lifting of Sanctions Against Kneissl is Nearing

According to information in the daily newspapers "Die Presse" and "Der Standard" on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Israel plans to lift its ban on contacts with Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl. Netanyahu ordered Israeli authorities in December 2017 to refrain from contacts with FPÖ ministers. Although Kneissl is not a party member, she has been nominated by the Austrian Freedom Party FPÖ. However, the official Israeli contact ban will continue to apply to FPÖ government members.

September 26, 2018

Nuclear Controversy: Iran Seeking Austria's Support

Austria's EU Presidency, the future of the nuclear agreement and the desire to strengthen bilateral economic and cultural exchange were the focus of a visit by Iranian parliamentarians to the Austrian Parliament.

September 25, 2018

Meet the New Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to Austria: H.E. Mrs. Leena Al-Hadid

The new Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to Austria, H.E. Mrs. Leena Al-Hadid presented Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen with her letter of accreditation at the Vienna Hofburg.

September 19, 2018

Intercultural Achievement Award Fosters Dialogue Between Cultures

The Austrian Foreign Ministry presented the Intercultural Achievement Award (IAA) for the fifth time. The award honours inspiring projects in civil society that foster intercultural dialogue and coexistence. This time the award for sustainability went to a project from Mozambique. Ambassador Jörg Wojahn, the Representation of the European Commission in Vienna, and Secretary General of the OSCE Thomas Greminger used the dialogue-based work of their own institutions as a starting point and awarded prizes to projects from Ukraine and Tunisia.

September 14, 2018

Review of the State Visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Austria

After the visit in March 2016, which was cancelled at short notice, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was on a state visit to Vienna this week, accompanied by massive anti-Iran protests. The aim of the visit was a joint commitment to the Iran nuclear deal after the deal was approved in Vienna three years ago. The visit was overshadowed by a diplomatic case involving an employee of the Iranian embassy in Vienna, who had been arrested last weekend by the German judicial authorities on the basis of a European arrest warrant on suspicion of terrorism.

July 5, 2018

Nuclear Deal: Iranian President Rouhani Lobbies for Austria

The Federal Chancellery has now officially confirmed that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will come to Vienna on 4 July for an official visit. Of course, the visit is mainly about the nuclear deal. After the USA's exit, there is considerable pressure on Rouhani.

June 19, 2018

See the Fascinating World of the Pyramids of Egypt in Vienna's Proximity

The pyramids of Egypt have been fascinating people since they emerged 4,600 years ago. The ancient Greeks were already standing before the Pyramids of Giza in awe and counted them among the Seven Wonders of the World. They impress with their appearance and architecture and, as part of gigantic complexes, they were the burial sites of the Egyptian kings and the elite for centuries. The exhibition “The Fascinating World of the Pyramids” at the MAMUZ Museum Mistelbach shows the perfection with which the impressive monuments were built in ancient Egypt and what influence pyramids have today on architecture, fashion and art.

June 7, 2018

Austrian Development Agency Supports WHO in Palestine

To improve health care in Gaza, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) is supporting the World Health Organization (WHO) with 300,000 euros.

June 5, 2018

Austrian Military Investigation into the Golan Heights Ambush: Soldiers' Actions Correct

In September 2012, Austrian UN soldiers on the Golan did not prevent Syrian security forces from entering a deadly ambush. The disciplinary assessment concludes that the conduct of Austria's soldiers had been stressful, but correct, so that the soldiers do not need to be prosecuted.

June 5, 2018

Lasting Rivals - Byzantium & the West

Schallaburg Castle in Lower Austria is recalling a fascinating story from the past that was long forgotten but still shapes Europe today. It is the story of Byzantium and the West.

June 4, 2018

The Vienna Salons: Networking and Emancipation for 200 Years

What made the Vienna salons the places to be between 1780 and 1938 would be described today as networking in the best sense. Mostly shaped by their Jewish hostesses, these communication spaces were also spaces of emancipation and empowerment in two respects: for women who were still excluded from public life, and for the development of a critical, middle-class civic society.

May 31, 2018

Hassan Rouhani Expected in Vienna in Early July

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (حسن روحانی) will meet his Austrian counterpart Alexander Van der Bellen in Vienna on 4 July according to media reports.

May 30, 2018

Flight Connection Kuwait-Vienna Carries Arab-Israeli Conflict to Austria

State-owned Kuwait Airways, which will resume operations between Kuwait and Vienna in early June for the summer months, does not carry Israeli citizens. The official reason is a Kuwaiti law from 1964, which bans all companies of the 3.5 million inhabitant oil state from doing business with Israelis.

May 29, 2018