Vienna, 15 January 2017 Press release

Middle East Peace Conference in Paris ushers in a week of intensive work and travel. Further destinations include Brussels, Kiev, Moscow and Davos

Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz supports peace efforts

Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz at the Middle East Peace Conference in Paris. 15 January 2017

The Conference for Peace in the Middle East ushers in a week of intensive work and travel for Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz. Following the peace conference in Paris, he is travelling to Brussels for the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union. In his capacity as the Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), he will meet Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev on Tuesday, and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Wednesday. On Thursday he will attend the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz at the Middle East Peace Conference in Paris. 15 January 2017

The focus today was on driving the efforts for peace in the Middle East. Aiming at the continued support of negotiations between Israel and Palestine, the Foreign Ministers of the EU Member States, the League of Arab States, the G-20, the nations represented on the United Nations Security Council and representatives of selected partner countries in Asia, Africa and America met for the purpose of safeguarding the two-state solution.

“Everyone who believes that a two-state solution can be forced upon the world is erring,”

Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said. In keeping with the related resolutions of the United Nations, the Berlin Declaration of the European Union as well as the roadmap defined by the Quartet on the Middle East – the USA, United Nations, EU and Russia – a final joint declaration was drawn up for further steps towards a long-term solution for peace.

At the conference, Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz also advocated efforts against radicalisation and terrorism, a priority of the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship.

“Amongst other things, this also stands for a resolute fight against antisemitism and radicalisation in the OSCE region,”

said Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz. Austria would have a historical duty to take a determined stand against antisemitism. Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz is also consistently engaged for an intensification of Austro-Israeli relations; he has visited the country three times, most recently on the occasion of the burial of former President Shimon Peres.

At the same time, efforts are made to further step up exchanges between the two countries, e.g. through the Working Holiday Program, visits to Austria under the Young Israeli Leaders Program, and in return, through a visit of young Austrian entrepreneurs to Israel.  


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