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Criticism Against Genscher Continues

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Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher continued to came under strong criticism for remaining silent at an official dinner here last week while visiting Arab League Secretary General Chedli Klibi delivered a virulent attack on Israel and Zionism. Gerhard Schmidt, a senior official of the Central Labor Union, published an open letter to Genscher taking him to task for his failures to respond to the attack on a friendly nation.

It was not “particularly noble” to refrain from repudiating a speech that referred to Israel as a “racist colonial aggressor,” Schmidt wrote. Genscher’s failure to react was seen by the press as an indication of how for West Germany’s Middle East policy has shifted in favor of the Arabs.

The opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU), meanwhile, has officially repudiated the government’s pro-Arab line. Its spokesman for foreign policy warned yesterday that the European Economic Community’s (EEC) current Mideast initiative, in which the Bann government is playing a major role could well undermine the ongoing peace process in the Middle East and encourage Arab extremists.

Meanwhile, it was announced here that King Hussein of Jordan will visit West Germany for two days beginning tomorrow to hold talks with Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and Genscher. Hussein’s talks with Schmidt will deal with the EEC’s view of the Palestinian problem and the United Nations General Assembly emergency session on the same issue.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said that the EEC’s declaration at its summit meeting in Venice last month, which called for the Palestine Liberation Organization to be “associated” with the peace negotiations, will be central to the talks between Hussein and Schmidt.

The monarch’s visit to West Germany is part of his European tour which come one week after the EEC decided to dispatch Foreign Minister Gaston Thom of Luxembourg, who is also the current chairman of the EEC, as its envoy to explore the EEC initiative in the Mideast. Hussein visited Paris today where he met with French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing for talks about Mideast problems and other international developments. (See related story from Paris.)

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