W. German Foreign Minister Genscher in Israel for Two-day Visit

Israeli officials attach considerable importance to the visit of West Germany’s Foreign Minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, who arrived here this afternoon for a two-day visit that will include talks with top Israeli leaders. Genscher was greeted at Ben Gurion Airport by Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan and went directly to Jerusalem where his first stop was at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.

It is the West German diplomat’s fourth visit to Israel but it assumed special significance because West Germany will assume the chairmanship of the European Economic Community (EEC) next month, increasing its already considerable influence over the political orientation of the European Common Market member states. Israelis are troubled by the latest statement by Chancellor Helmut Schmidt supporting a Palestinian state and criticizing Israeli foreign policy. Although West German sources here reportedly have minimized the significance of Schmidt’s statement, saying it only reiterated the position adopted by the EEC in June 1977 recognizing the rights of the Palestinians, Genscher is expected to be questioned closely on the issue.

He is due to confer with Premier Menachem Begin tomorrow, with Deputy Premier Yigael Yadin, Defense Minister Ezer Weizman and Dayan as well as with opposition leaders. Dayan is holding a dinner in honor of Genscher this evening.

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