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Austrian Raps Israel for Its Decision to Downgrade Diplomatic Representation in Austria

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Alois Mock, chairman of President Kurt Waldheim’s conservative Peoples Party, sharply attacked Israel Sunday for its decision to downgrade its diplomatic representation in Austria.

According to a report in the daily Neue Kronenzeitung, Mock, a candidate for the office of Prime Minister, told a press conference in Carinthia province that Israel’s attitude was outrageous and that he would suggest to Waldheim that Austria recall its Ambassador to Israel.

He was speaking of the announcement by Israel’s then Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir following Waldheim’s election victory last July, that Israel would not replace its Ambassador in Vienna, Michael Elizur, when the latter retires shortly. A new envoy would have to present his credentials to Waldheim, whose Nazi past was exposed during the election campaign. The Vienna embassy therefore would be left in the hands of a Charge d’ Affaires, Shamir said.

According to Neue Kronenzeitung, Mock said Shamir’s statement and decision reflected the views of a few fanatics in Israel. “Austria must not accept any recipes from Israel, from a country that has always been supported internationally,” Mock was quoted as saying. He also expressed anger over the continuing campaign by the World Jewish Congress against Waldheim.

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