Vienna, 24 July 2014 – Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz strongly condemned assaults on Israeli Maccabi Haifa players during a friendly football match against Lille played in the Austrian town of Bischofshofen. "The assaults on Maccabi Haifa team members must be condemned in the strongest terms. I demand a complete investigation of these incidents and those responsible must be brought to justice. There must be absolutely zero tolerance for violence motivated by religion or anti-Semitism in Austria. Even if the Middle East conflict heats emotions, the conflict must on no account be brought to Austria.“ Sebastian Kurz added that the peaceful co-existence of different religious groups had so far been successful in Austria and that this long and difficult process must on no account be put at risk. The Austrian Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs established a dialogue platform for all the 16 churches and religious groups recognised in Austria on May 27, with the purpose of promoting the freedom of religion and mutual respect. “Austria stands for a respectful attitude for and between all religious groups and for the protection and promotion of the freedom of religion”, Kurz concluded.
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