December 18, 2017 / 10:56 AM / a year ago

Germany expects close relationship with new Austrian government

Austrian president Alexander van der Bellen and head of the People's Party Sebastian Kurz sign contracts during the swearing-in ceremony of the new government in Vienna, December 18, 2017 REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany expects to work closely together with Austria’s new government, government spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Monday when asked if Berlin had reservations about the presence in the new coalition of a far-right party.

“We are open to and prepared for a close and trusting relationship with the new Austrian government,” Seibert told a regular news conference held some minutes after the new Vienna government, a coalition of the centre-right with the far-right Freedom Party, was sworn in.

Asked if he had concerns about cooperating with a foreign ministry or security services under the control of far-right ministers, he said: “We do not comment on ministerial assignments, especially not those made by our friends and neighbours.”

Reporting By Thomas Escritt; Editing by Joseph Nasr

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