search

Lapid, visiting Austrian chancellor sign strategic partnership, discuss Iran threat

PM stresses to visitor Nehammer importance of international community opposing 2015 Iranian nuclear deal; two leaders discuss combating antisemitism, preserving Holocaust memory

Prime Minister Yair Lapid, right, meets Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer in Tel Aviv, July 12, 2022. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid, right, meets Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer in Tel Aviv, July 12, 2022. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Prime Minister Yair Lapid met Tuesday with visiting Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer and signed an agreement for collaboration on security, the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism and other matters, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

The two leaders met privately first and then held a broader forum that was joined by their staff at the prime minister’s office in the Kirya military complex in Tel Aviv.

They signed a “comprehensive strategic partnership” on “security, cyber matters, health and pandemic response, tourism, climate crisis action, trade and more.”

Discussions also covered “security challenges as well as regional issues on the agenda, especially the Iranian threat.”

Lapid “emphasized the importance of the international awareness against the agreement and concerns over the continuation of the Iranian nuclear program,” the statement said referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed between Iran and world powers in 2015. They also discussed the ongoing war in Ukraine, invaded by Russia in February.

Also on the agenda was increasing combined efforts between the countries “in the fight against antisemitism and in steps to preserve the memory of the Holocaust.”

Prime Minister Yair Lapid hosts Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, July 12, 2022 (Kobi Gideon / GPO)

Lapid, who took over as prime minister earlier this month in a rotation agreement with now Alternate Prime Minister MK Naftali Bennett, noted that the most emotional moment for him over the past year was when he met Nehammer at the former Nazi-run Mauthausen concentration camp in Poland.

“You told me that on behalf of the people of Austria, you apologize for the killing of my grandfather who died there,” Lapid said and told Nehammer that he sees him as “a true friend of the State of Israel and thanked him for his support of Israel in both the European Union and the multilateral arena.”

Lapid, who was serving as foreign minister, became prime minister after the Knesset dissolved itself. Last month, Bennett and Lapid announced they would seek to disband parliament as their broad tent coalition of eight parties was no longer able to function after defecting lawmakers left it with a minority in the Knesset.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid hosts Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, Tel Aviv, July 12, 2022 (Kobi Gideon / GPO)

The JCPOA nuclear agreement gave Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program to prevent it from obtaining atomic weapons.

After the Trump administration pulled the US out of the deal in 2018 and reimposed biting sanctions Iran responded by dropping many of its own commitments. It has since ramped up its nuclear program, in particular uranium enrichment.

Talks to save the JCPOA by bringing the US back into the deal have stalled. Israel opposes the deal which it says is not tight enough to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear-armed state.

read more:

We have a new, improved comments system. To comment, simply register or sign in.

Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed