Israel to Downgrade Ties with Austria
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Israel to Downgrade Ties with Austria

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Israel reportedly has decided not to replace its Ambassador in Vienna when the current envoy, Michael Elizur, retires shortly. Instead, it will leave its Embassy in the hands of a Charge d’ Affaires, a significant downgrading of Israeli diplomatic representation in Austria.

Jerusalem’s decision is clearly a sign of its deep displeasure over the election of Kurt Waldheim to the Austrian Presidency last July after a bitter campaign during which massive evidence of Waldheim’s Nazi past was uncovered. A new Ambassador would have to present his credentials to Waldheim, a diplomatic ceremony unacceptable to Israel under current circumstances.

Neither Waldheim’s office nor the Foreign Ministry here has commented on the reported decision in Jerusalem.

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