Vienna, 20 July 2014 – Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz expressed his deepest concerns about reports on an ultimatum issued by the IS to Christians and other religious minorities living in Mosul to leave the city: 'I condemn the ultimatum of the IS issued to Christians and other religious minorities living in Mosul in the strongest terms. Christians living in the Middle East have recently been the prime victims of current conflicts and fighting.' In this context, Sebastian Kurz also emphasised the need for a political solution to be found to the situation in Iraq. The formation of a government of national unity representing Shiites, Sunnites and Kurds is the order of the day, he said. 'Austria will continue to promote freedom of religion and the protection of religious minorities worldwide. We are able to pro-actively share our model of neutral bridge-building between the religions with the UN and the EU', Kurz said. The interreligious dialogue platform where the 16 religious communities and fellowship of churches recognised in Austria met for the first time at the Austrian Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs on 27 May, agreed to work out measures to promote freedom of religion on an international level.
Contact:MFAPress Department Tel.: +43 (0) 50 1150-3320Fax: +43 (0) 50 1159-213 abti3(at)bmeia.gv.atwww.mfa.at