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

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

Updated Directory of Foreign Ambassadors in Austria 2018

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.).

September 28, 2018 · Updated: September 28, 2018; 17:47

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

Migration Policy Agency Celebrates 25th Anniversary and Welcomes New Members Malta and Turkey

With Malta and Turkey both joining Vienna based ICMPD in May, the International Centre for Migration Policy Development welcomes two new Member States. ICMPD has now 17 Member States all across Europe. In 2018 ICMPD is also celebrating the 25th anniversary of its founding and is looking into the future to try to see what it may hold in terms of migration and mobility of people.

May 29, 2018

Iran Talks Back at the Palais Coburg in Vienna

The struggle for the prolongation of the nuclear agreement with Iran continues. On Tehran's initiative, the Joint Commission is meeting in Vienna at Palais Coburg to discuss measures to support the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program. Tehran wants to decide on compliance with the nuclear deal in the coming weeks.

May 25, 2018

US Termination of the Iran Agreement: Major Effects on Austrian Exports Expected

The Austrian Federal Economic Chamber fears that the Trump decision will have a massive negative impact on the Iran business of Austrian companies. It will probably be extraordinarily difficult in the future to establish the necessary payment channels for legitimate transactions.

May 17, 2018

Austrian Exports to the Palestinian Territories Better than Ever

Despite the current tensions between the State of Palestine and Austria over the participation of Ambassador Martin Weiss in the US Embassy Opening Ceremonies, the Austrian Foreign Trade Centers Amman and Tel Aviv are planning a Fact Finding Mission to Ramallah and Amman for the second half of 2018. Austrian exports of goods to the Palestinian Territories increased by +108% in 2017.

May 17, 2018

US Embassy Opening in Jerusalem: Palestinian Ambassador to Austria Called Back to Palestine in Protest

The Austrian Ambassador to Israel, Martin Weiss, was one of only four EU Ambassadors (Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania) who participated in the celebrations surrounding the US embassy relocation to Jerusalem. The Palestinian leadership pointed out some time ago that not only the act but also the timing is a violation of international law and relevant UN resolutions, as well as arrogant disrespect. Therefore, the Palestinian Ambassador to Austria, Salah Abdel Shafi, has been called back to Palestine for an indefinite period of time.

May 16, 2018

Meet the Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Austria: H.E. Mr. Salah Abdel-Shafi

H.E. Mr. Salah Abdel-Shafi is the current Palestinian ambassador to Austria and permanent observer to the UN in Vienna.

May 16, 2018

Iran-Deal Withdrawal: Consequences for Iran-Austrian Economics Relations

About 50 Austrian companies have branches in Iran. Austrian exports to Iran rose by 9.2 percent to 301 million euros in 2017; imports increased by 18.5 percent to 119 million euros. A JCPOA supported only by the EU, Russia, China and Iran is not sufficient in the medium and long term to create the necessary investments and renewals in Iran. Without the US on board, international banks and large companies will continue to shy away from activities in Iran. Secondary sanctions will contribute to this.

May 11, 2018

Trump's Iran Deal Withdrawal Increases Uncertainty for Austrian Companies

Austrian companies react in a wait-and-see manner. The withdrawal of the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran means in practice that the suspension of sanctions will no longer be extended. Considerations range from an immediate halt to activities in Iran to the longest possible active participation within the new sanctions framework. It is unlikely that Austria's exports will reach the 300 million euro mark of the previous year.

May 11, 2018

Iran-Deal - Austrian Oberbank Distances Itself from Framework Credit Agreement with Tehran

Only last year, the Upper Austrian Oberbank was the first European bank to sign a framework credit agreement with Iran. After the USA's withdrawal from the nuclear treaty, the bank is now under pressure and intends to wait and see. The bank says it could certainly take two weeks for a final solution to be found and officially agreed.

May 11, 2018

OMV Group Report Q1 2018: Profit Down 43%, Production Up 30%

Adjusted operating profit amounted to EUR 818 million, up 2% year-on-year. Net income was also in line with forecasts, although net income for the period fell by 43% year-on-year. One of two key events was the signing of a concession agreement for the acquisition of a 20% stake in two fields offshore Abu Dhabi from ADNOC, as well as two satellite fields. The agreed participation fee amounts to USD 1.5 bn and the duration of the contract is 40 years.

May 4, 2018

Update of Austria's Probe of UN Golan Troops Over Deaths of Syrians

According to media reports, the video, which shows the fatal incident in September 2012 on the Golan Heights, when Austrian blue helmet soldiers sent 9 Syrian security forces into a deadly ambush, was used as a "training film". In parallel with these reports, the former Defence Minister points out that the start of the Syrian Civil War has removed the basis of the UN mandate, which should focus exclusively on monitoring the ceasefire between Syria and Israel.

May 4, 2018

OMV Receives Political Support for €1.3 Billion Purchase of Two UAE Oil Fields

An economic delegation led by Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, with the participation of Margarete Schramböck, Minister of Economic Affairs, OMV CEO Rainer Seele and a small delegation had the main objective of supporting OMV in the concession agreement for the acquisition of a 20% stake in two fields offshore Abu Dhabi from ADNOC.

May 4, 2018

Teddy Kollek Exhibition at the Jewish Museum Vienna

Teddy Kollek, who grew up in Vienna, and as mayor of Jerusalem for nearly three decades did more to build and develop the city as Israel’s primary city than any other figure while still seeking to meet the needs of its Arab residents, died in 2007 in Jerusalem. The Jewish Museum in Vienna is showing a retrospective entitled "Teddy Kollek - The Viennese Mayor of Jerusalem".

May 1, 2018

New Appointments of Austrian Diplomatic Posts Abroad

At its meeting of 25 April 2018, the Austrian Council of Ministers decided to entrust the following Foreign Ministry officials with the direction of Austrian Missions.

April 25, 2018

Austria Participates in World EXPO 2020 Dubai Investing €16.5 Mln

Austria's participation agreement for the World Expo 2020 from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021 in Dubai has been signed by Government Commissioner Beatrix Karl as part of the "Austria Connect Gulf 2018" event of the WKO Foreign Trade Center (Außenwirtschaftscenter).

April 25, 2018

Austria's Role in Brussels' Syria Conference Rather Modest

Austria's recent efforts regarding Syria to make only 4 million additional euros available on the one hand, and Lawrow's clear rejection of Austria's possible mediation role in the Syrian conflict on the other, cannot be classified as a success. Rather than Vienna, the Brussels Conference will seek to resume the UN peace talks in Geneva.

April 24, 2018

Presentation of the First Ari Rath Prize for Critical Journalism

Journalist Alexandra Föderl-Schmid will be awarded the First Ari-Rath Prize for Critical Journalism on 3 May 2018, the Day of Freedom of the Press. This prize was established to honour journalists who have rendered outstanding services to critical reporting on immigration, expulsion and asylum, committed to respect for human rights, in the spirit of the former editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post, who died in January 2017.

April 23, 2018

Austrian Minister of Education Demands Clarification from Islamic Community

In connection with the affair over children as soldiers playing war games in a Viennese mosque, Minister Blümel demands further information and clarification of the incidents from the Islamic Religious Community in Austria (IGGÖ - Islamische Glaubensgemeinschaft in Österreich).

April 20, 2018

Meet the Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq to Austria: H.E. Mr. Jabir Habeb Jabir Hemaidawi

The new Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq to Austria: H.E. Mr. Jabir Habeb Jabir Hemaidawi presented President Alexander Van der Bellen with his letter of accreditation at the Vienna Hofburg.

April 16, 2018

New Double Taxation Agreement Between Israel and Austria

After almost 50 years, a new double taxation agreement (DTA) for income and capital taxes was signed between Israel and Austria, which includes substantial tax relief.

April 10, 2018

OMV Buys Oilfield Shares in Abu Dhabi for USD 1.5 Bln

Listed oil corporation OMV is acquiring 20 percent of two offshore oil fields in Abu Dhabi from the Abu Dhabi oil group ADNOC. The purchase price for the concession and the associated infrastructure amounts to USD 1.5 billion. OMV has already a long relationship with Abu Dhabi. OMV opened a representation office in Abu Dhabi in 2007. Today Abu Dhabi is the location of the Business Hub for OMV´s Upstream Middle East & Africa activities.

April 6, 2018

Simplified Naturalisations in Austria for Families of Nazi Refugees

Austria plans to facilitate dual citizenship for the descendants of Nazi displaced persons.

March 15, 2018

Austrian Delegation Seeks to Improve Economic and Political Relations with Jordan

An official visit of President Van der Bellen to Jordan will take place from 17 April to 19 April 2018. The delegation to Amman will be accompanied by an economic mission headed by WKO Vice President Richard Schenz. The economic mission of the WKO is the response of an invitation issued some time ago by the President of the Chamber of Commerce of the Kingdom.

March 8, 2018

The OSCE in 2030: Undivided Security in Europe Now More at Risk Than 10 Years Ago

In the Austrian National Defence Academy, the security issue "The OSCE in 2030: Undivided Security in Europe restored?" was discussed in the form of a public panel discussion. At the invitation of the International Institute for Peace (IIP), the Karl-Renner-Institut, the Scientific Cluster for Polemology and Legal Ethics, the FES Regional Office for Cooperation and Peace in Europe (ROCPE), the Austrian National Defence Academy and the ISP Institute for Security Policy, Hannes Swoboda as moderator and the panelists Thomas Greminger, Fyodor Lukyanov, Stephanie Liechtenstein, Alena Kupchyna discussed the hoped-for security policy development of Europe and the OSCE.

March 7, 2018

Chancellor Kurz Visits President Putin: "The situation in Syria is dramatic"

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz traveled to Moscow to meet Vladimir Putin. The focus of the trip was a working meeting with the Russian President, with whom Kurz discussed, among other things, the bilateral relations of both countries, the relationship between Russia and the EU, the Ukraine conflict and the current situation in Syria.

February 28, 2018

IIASA Builds Bridge through Science with Israel

The Laxenburg based international research organization IIASA (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) has recently announced that Israel has become its newest member country. Israel joins 24 other countries whose National Member Organization’s representatives constitute the IIASA Governing Council. Israel has established the Israel Committee for IIASA - made up of representatives from Israeli universities, government ministries, and the public - to represent the Israeli membership of IIASA.

February 19, 2018
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