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Orbán welcomes victory of ‘close ally’ in Austria

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has reacted to the election victory of the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) on Sunday by sending a letter of congratulation to Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian foreign minister and head of the ÖVP, Bertalan Havasi, the PMʼs press chief, told state news wire MTI on Monday.

Sebastian Kurz (photo: Parlamentsdirektion / Bildagentur Zolles / Mike Ranz)

“Yesterdayʼs result clearly showed that the majority of the electorate in Austria cast their votes for value-based policies guaranteeing security and stability,” Orbán was quoted as saying in the letter. “I trust that following the successful formation of a government, we will be able to strengthen cooperation between our countries as close allies according to the Christian and conservative values you consistently represent.”

Kurz, 31, is set to become the worldʼs youngest national leader. The Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) finished first with a projected share of 31.7% of the vote, although as of Monday afternoon it remained unclear whether the center-left Social Democrats (SPÖ) or the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) would place second.

According to reports, projections showed the SPÖ receiving 26.9% of the vote and the FPÖ 26%. However, final results are not expected until mid-week after absentee ballots are counted. Observers believe Kurzʼs party could seek an alliance with the anti-migrant, eurosceptic FPÖ.

Earlier Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó expressed his delight with the victory of Kurz.

“Sebastian Kurz has always spoken clearly and has never been a slave to political correctness and hypocrisy,” Szijjártó was quoted as saying on official government website

Szijjártó expressed joy that the Austrian elections were won by a party and a candidate for chancellor that have cooperated with Hungary with regard to migration and many other important issues.

Online news portal noted that Szijjártó has hitherto enjoyed an unusually good relationship with his Austrian counterpart.