Kreisky; Mideast Peace Contingent on Talks Between Palestinians Israelis

Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky declared today that “Only negotiations and agreements between the Palestinians and the Israelis, on the basis of their mutual recognition will lead to results. Without this readiness to negotiate and the will to achieve agreement, there will be no peace” in the Mideast.

In his address to the General Assembly, the Austrian leader predicted that soon most, if not all governments in the world will recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization as the representative of the Palestinians. Once this happens, he said, “the Palestinian side would have to acknowledge as a reality the existence of the State of Israel and Israel would have to acknowledge as legitimate the national rights of the Palestinians.” He added: “It is only at that stage that in my opinion the moment for first exploratory talks will have to come.”

Later, in a press conference at the UN, Kreisky reiterated the same ideas. He said his “impression” from the talks he held with PLO leader Yasir Arafat last July was that “there is a fair chance” that the PLO will agree to recognize Israel in return for Israeli recognition of the PLO. As for the Camp David accords and the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty. Kreisky said: “This peace remains a historic achievement of President Anwar Sadat” of Egypt. He did not mention Israel’s part in reaching the agreement.

Israel’s Ambassador Yehuda Blum, in a brief statement issued after Kreisky’s address to the Assembly, said the Chancellor “manifested his partiality again today in referring to the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty as an exclusive achievement of President Sadat.” Therefore, Blum said, the Israel Mission sees ” no need to comment” on Kreisky’s UN statement.

In his press conference, Kreisky said he keeps contacts with both parties, the Israelis and the Palestinians. But, in reply to a question, he said he does not have contacts with Israeli government officials.

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