Israeli Minister Cancels Meeting with Syrian Opposition in Vienna

An Israeli deputy minister cancelled a planned meeting Tuesday with members of the Syrian opposition at the offices of Austria's far-right Freedom Party (FPOe), an FPOe spokesman said.

Israel's deputy minister for development of the Negev and Galilee, Ayoob Kara, "unfortunately had to cancel", FPOe spokesman Karl-Heinz Gruensteidl told Agence France Presse as Israeli public radio said the decision was made "for security reasons."

Gruensteidl had earlier reported that Kara was scheduled to meet five Syrian opposition members in Vienna to discuss a post-Assad Syria -- referring to Syrian President Bashar Assad, under fire over the violent clampdown against pro-democracy protests sweeping his country.

Israeli public radio said Kara also did not want to "risk jeopardizing the position of the Israeli government".

Kara is a member of the rightwing Likud party of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The meeting had been engineered by the Vienna-based FPOe politician David Lasar, who suggested that Kara would be taking part as the personal envoy of Netanyahu, the Austrian Press Agency reported.

Source: Agence France Presse

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