Austrian Federal Chancellery (12/14/2009)
Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak paid an official visit to Vienna on December 14, 2009, following an invitation by his Austrian counterpart Norbert Darabos. According to the Ministry of Defense, this was the first official visit of an Israeli Defense Minister to Austria. Barak was Prime Minister from 1999 to 2001. The Chairman of the Labour Party has been Minister of Defense in the Likud-led coalition government since 2007.
Barak accepted the return invitation extended by Darabos during his stay in Israel in May 2008. Minister Darabos also accompanied Federal President Heinz Fischer during his state visit to Israel in December of last year. Barak’s official program included talks with Austrian President Heinz Fischer, Chancellor Werner Faymann and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger. At Vienna’s City Hall Barak participated in a reception hosted by the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and the Vienna Jewish Community (IKG) in honor of Mayor Michael Häupl, who will be awarded the Nahum Goldmann medal.