Austrian Firm Reported Building Military Air Base in Saudi Arabia

The opposition Peoples (Conservative) Party said today that it would raise in parliament reports that an Austrian government-owned construction company is building a military air base in Saudi Arabia. An opposition spokesman said the party would demand a clarifying statement from Foreign Minister Rudolph Kirchschlaeger, because the alleged construction compromises Austria’s neutrality in the Middle East conflict.

According to press reports here, construction of the air base at Al Abha. Saudi Arabia, began in 1971. The base includes a hangar for 12 fighter bombers, a bomb test site and personnel barracks.

EGYPTIAN FOREIGN MINISTER DUE THURSDAY

Mohammed H. el-Zayyat, the Egyptian Foreign Minister, will arrive here Thursday on a four-day visit for talks with Chancellor Bruno Kreisky and other Austrian government officials, it was announced here today. El-Zayyat is due to leave Cairo tomorrow and will meet with President Tito of Yugoslavia in Belgrade before coming to Vienna.

The Egyptian diplomat’s visit to Yugoslavia, which is unaligned but friendly to the Arab cause and to Austria which is neutral in the Middle East conflict, is believed to be the latest in Egypt’s periodic efforts to promote its Mideast position among European powers. The Security Council’s Middle East debate is scheduled to resume July 16, and the Middle East is expected to be on the agenda of the European Security Conference in Helsinki.

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