Vienna, 7 September 2004 Press release

Press release: Ferrero-Waldner "Further deepening of Austrian-Israeli relations"


Austrian Foreign Minister meets Israel’s Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin for talks in Vienna

Vienna, 7 September 2004 - Austria’s Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner met Israel’s Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, who is visiting Vienna at the invitation of Austrian National Council President Andreas Khol, for talks this afternoon.

The meeting focused on expanding and deepening the good relations between the two countries as well as on a discussion of opportunities for cooperation in the economic, cultural and scientific fields. Moreover, Ferrero-Waldner and Rivelin exchanged opinions on the current situation in the Middle East, the European Neighbourhood Policy and the issue of how to fight terrorism. Following a visit by the Israeli Foreign Minister Shalom in November 2003, Rivelin’s visit and the forthcoming visit to Austria by Israel’s President Katsav (scheduled for 19 to 22 October) underline the close relationship between the two countries.

In addition to strengthening and expanding political contacts, there still is "a huge scope for additional cooperation in the economic, scientific and cultural fields," as the Foreign Minister emphasised. By way of example, Ferrero-Waldner pointed to the Center for Austrian Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, inaugurated in 2001, as well as the Holocaust Seminars for Austrian teachers held in Yad Vashem. She further mentioned the Theodor Herzl Year 2004, for which the Foreign Ministers of the two countries jointly assumed patronage, as a good example of cultural cooperation between Austria and Israel. A series of exhibitions, conferences and memorial events in Austria and Israel as well as in third countries are currently being staged to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Theodor Herzl.