BONN (Dec. 18)
The meeting between Dr. Gerhard Schroeder of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), chairman of the Bundestag Foreign Policy Committee, and Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasir Arafat in Damascus is to be raised tomorrow in the West German Parliament by the Social Democrats. While rumors circulated today in Bonn that the meeting was arranged with the knowledge and approval of the Bonn Foreign Office, the Central Council of Jews in Germany has joined the Jewish community in West Berlin and. CDU-CSU opposition circles in condemning Schroeder’s initiative.
The Council of Jews has sent written protests to Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, CDU Chairman Helmut Kohl, and CDU floor leader Karl Carstens, who yesterday said Schroeder would be asked to account for his meeting with Arafat when he returns tomorrow to Bonn. The Council of Jews said Arafat could not be regarded as a discussion partner for Schroeder. The PLO “had ordered terror attacks in West Germany, and had trained German terrorists.” the Council said.
Schroeder has already informed the CDU that his talks with Arafat were “necessary” to get to know the views of all sides in the Middle East. He told a West German news agency that the decisive thing in his eyes was to get “a lasting, just and constructive peace, and many difficulties still lay ahead.”
Schroeder’s meeting with Arafat has also been criticized by the Israeli Embassy in Bonn. A spokesman said the meeting did not serve peace in the Middle East. Arafat was the head of an organization that “carried the banner of international terror and whose declared aim was the elimination of the State of Israel.” The head of the Jewish community in West Berlin. Heinz Galinski, said Schroeder could be “tolerated no longer as chairman of the Bundestag Foreign Policy Committee.”