WASHINGTON (Jun. 28)
The Austrian Government has sent diplomatic memoranda to Arab League states confidentially advising the Arabs that Austria has no intention of paying restitution to Israel, it was learned here today.
The Syrian Embassy has confirmed that Syria has received such official advise from Austria. The Austrians told the Arabs they considered Austria to have been an innocent victim of the Nazis during World War II and therefore in no way obligated to Israel for claims arising from the Nazi persecution of Jews.
Austria said it would pay minor sums taken from heiress sources to relieve the condition of Austrian Jews who can prove they suffered under Nazism, but that the Austrian Government has decided that it will not negotiate an agreement with Israel like the one effected between Israel and West Germany.
The Austrian communication said that Austria desires the friendliest relations with the nations of the Arab League. The Austrian Cabinet decided to send its position on Jewish claims to the Arabs through diplomatic channels after the Arabs protested to Austria against the position of the Jewish claims committee which is now negotiating with the Austrian Government in Vienna.