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Austria's Freedom Party leader to attend Trump's inauguration

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Austria's Freedom Party leader to attend Trump's inauguration
Photo: Paul Morse/Wikimedia
20:18 CET+01:00
The head of Austria's Freedom Party (FPÖ), Heinz-Christian Strache, has officially announced his attendance at Donald Trump's upcoming inauguration, which takes place this Friday.
Strache disclosed his plans on his Facebook page on Tuesday morning (see below). In his statement, he mentioned that there was a high level of interest in his delegation's visit on the other side of the Atlantic, although not directly on the part of Donald Trump himself.
 
The invitation allegedly came from the US-Congressman from Iowa, Steve King, who is known for his ultraconservative views and strong support for Trump. King made a trip to Vienna in October 2016 to visit with party members during the height of the election campaign. Following an inquiry by the APA, a speaker for the former presidential candidate and FPÖ vice president, Norbert Hofer has said he will "neither confirm nor deny" if Hofer is part of the delegation. 
 
In the days leading up to the news, the media was abuzz with speculation regarding the potential ties between the highly conservative US republican constituency and Austria's far-right political faction. As party chief, Strache has received criticism for his recent dealings, including a meeting with a Trump adviser shortly before the US election, and a visit to Moscow with the aim of strengthening relations.
 
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