France issued a Europol request to locate Halabi in 2017, and 2018, Austrian police raided Halabi’s apartment but did not find him. Since then his whereabouts have not been publicly known.
By early 2014 he had made it to France with the help of French agents who may have believed the senior official could be a useful asset in the event of President Assad’s downfall, the senior French judicial source told The Telegraph.
“This was also just a few months before the 2015 terror attacks in Paris and the DGSE was desperate to get their hands on any leads about the Islamic State, which they knew was actively planning strikes,” said the source, who asked their name be withheld.
Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said at a Tuesday press conference that the suspect was shot dead by police about nine minutes after the first emergency call reached authorities.
Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told Austrian broadcaster ORF: ‚It appears to have been a terror attack.‘
He added that the perpetrators were ‚heavily armed and dangerous‘ and the army had been asked to guard key locations in the city to allow police officers to pursue the attackers.
‚We have brought several special forces units together that are now searching for the presumed terrorists. I am therefore not limiting it to an area of Vienna because these are mobile perpetrators,‘ Nehammer said, urging the public to stay indoors until the all-clear is given.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias will meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Vienna on Friday to discuss developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Dendias will also meet with Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg,
The top U.S. diplomat is traveling to Prague and Pilsen in the Czech Republic; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Vienna, Austria; and Warsaw, Poland, from August 11 to 15.
The mayor of Nice has urged French PM Edouard Philippe to introduce new travel controls during the Covid-19 pandemic through “health passports” in the parts of France which border other countries.
The letter was signed by Spain, France, Portugal, Slovenia, Greece, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy, the Italian premier’s office at Palazzo Chigi said.
European Union leaders failed to agree on Thursday on the scale of support for their economies battered by the coronavirus, but gave themselves two more weeks to work out details in a dispute between the ailing south and the fiscally conservative north.
Highlighting how the pandemic is testing the bloc’s cohesion, Germany and the Netherlands blocked a call from Italy, Spain and France to issue joint debt to help finance a recovery.
Kurz, the 33-year-old former chancellor, is set to strike a deal to return to power with Austria’s environmentalist party as soon as New Year’s Day. Pending approval by a Green party conference on Saturday, the new administration could be sworn in by President Alexander Van der Bellen (himself a former Green leader) on Jan. 7.
During the talks, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper spoke of hopes to deploy missiles in the Asia-Pacific region in coming months following Washington’s withdrawal from a landmark arms control treaty last week.
After about three hours of debate, a simple majority of lawmakers stood up in a demonstration of their withdrawal of trust from Mr. Kurz, 32, making him the first Austrian leader in more than seven decades to be removed from power by his peers in Parliament.
The removal of Mr. Kurz, just 17 months after he became chancellor, came despite a gain of 8 percentage points for his conservative People’s Party in the European Parliament elections.
Austria’s far-right interior minister, Herbert Kickl, has been fired in the wake of the “Ibiza” corruption scandal that has engulfed the Freedom party (FPÖ), leading to the complete collapse of the country’s governing coalition.
In response to the sacking, the remaining Freedom party ministers resigned from their posts, which included the ministries for defence, work and transport.
For several months Silberstein was an adviser to the Social Democratic Party, headed by Chancellor Christian Kern. A few days ago, media outlets including the investigative magazine Profil and the daily Die Presse reported that around four months ago, Silberstein put together a team of Israelis and Austrians who from their Vienna headquarters ran two Facebook sites on which they attacked Kurz, Kern’s rival, in a particularly hard-nosed style.
He said that „much had changed“ since the 2007 Lisbon Treaty, pointing to the eurozone and migration crises and Brexit.
A treaty renegotiation would require unanimous consent from all EU member states. In the same interview, Kurz expressed scepticism over any cooperation between the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) — to which the OeVP belongs — and parties further to the right in the European Parliament.
Marine Le Pen has asserted that neither she nor her party want France’s withdrawal from the eurozone.
Speaking at a gathering of her supporters on Saturday ahead of the European elections, the National Rally (RN) leader said that her platform would now “look to change the EU from within”.
A small number of EU member states argued for an extension to June 30, but most argued for much longer: to December 2019, or even March 2020
Far-right Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini congratulated the incumbent premier, bidding „good job to my friend Bibi Netanyahu and a hug to the people of Israel.“
The group includes Mr Salvini’s League, as well as France’s far-right National Rally (formerly National Front), Austria’s Freedom Party and the Netherland’s Party for Freedom. Those parties have long sat together in the European Parliament.
But Mr Salvini was also joined on Monday by the far-right Alternative for Germany’s co-leader Joerg Meuthen, Olli Kotro of the Eurosceptic populist Finns party, and Anders Vistisen of the right-wing, populist Danish People’s Party.
The announcement follows a joint visit with Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz to Cairo where they held discussions with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
The Times is reporting that the German Chancellor Ms Merkel is frustrated the talks are not leading to a breakthrough, and is taking matters into her own hands.
She is said to have suggested they use the summit scheduled in Austria for the PM to hold direct talks to avert a no-deal Brexit.
In tandem with the upgrading of relations with Israel, there is growing friction between central European states and the EU. This revolves mainly around the issue of migrants. Tensions reached new heights this month over a compromise on closing the EU’s external borders and the establishment of screening centers for migrants. The measures were opposed by Germany, but strongly promoted by Hungary and Poland.
The Austria Press Agency quoted a spokesman for the United Nations as calling the video „disturbing“.
The world body would follow up actively on this issue in cooperation with the Austrian authorities, the spokesman says.
The spokesman added that the incident, which left nine members of the Syrian security forces killed by 13 members of the armed opposition, was reported to the UN Security Council and included in a UN report.