Austrian Chancellor congratulates Israel's new government

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz: Austria is committed to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

Elad Benari ,

Sebastian Kurz
Sebastian Kurz

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Sunday congratulated the new Israeli government.

“Congratulations to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid for forming a government. I look forward to working with you. Austria is committed to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state and will continue to stand by Israel’s side,” he tweeted.

Kurz had a close relationship with former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as was evident during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kurz revealed last year that it was a phone call from Netanyahu that made him act to curb the virus.

“I contacted Bibi Netanyahu and he told me his opinion, that several countries in Europe aren’t doing enough and that he is concerned that Europe isn’t treating the problem as it should,” Kurz told Israel’s Kan 11 News in an interview.

“This, of course, caused us to treat the issue more firmly and quickly make decisions. I thank Bibi Netanyahu for the conversation we held a few weeks ago which led to the fact that we were the first to respond in Europe,” added the Chancellor.

When Austria was hit by a second wave of coronavirus, Kurz once again sought the help of Netanyahu, and the two held a conversation.

Kurz has expressed support for Israel in the past and has spoken out against Iran’s leaders who have called for Israel’s destruction.

The Australian Chancellor has also pledged to make "combating anti-Semitism in all its forms" a top priority. He has condemned Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza onto Israeli territory and stressed his country’s commitment to Israel.