The U.N. refugee agency has denounced "xenophobic debates" in Austrian politics ahead of a parliamentary election in October, calling on political parties to set a more inclusive tone and do more to help those seeking sanctuary.

Austria's election campaign has yet to fully emerge from a long summer lull, but immigration has been a major theme in what little debate there has been so far. The issue has dominated politics since Austria was swept up in Europe's migration crisis in 2015.

The far-right Freedom Party's candidate came close to winning the country's presidential election last year, helped by widespread concerns about security and the economy after the country took in more than 1 percent of its population in asylum seekers during the 2015 influx.

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