Kreisky: Chances ‘ripe’ for Peace

Chancellor Bruno Kreisky of Austria believes that Ronald Reagan’s election as President “should bring no real change in America’s role in world affairs” and that “chances are ripe for peace in the Middle East.”

Kreisky offered his opinions in response to questions at a recent meeting with Jewish youth delegates from the U.S., Britain and Israel, the World Jewish Congress reported here today. The young visitors were in Vienna of the invitation of the Jewish Welcome Service and the Austrian Education Ministry to acquaint themselves with the current conditions of the Austrian Jewish community, especially as they relate to the needs of its youth.

Kreisky fore now no substantive change in American foreign policy under the Reagan Administration. “A new President cannot change facts by speeches,” he said. He warned that “We are on the eve of a new arms race,” adding “we are highly interested in the continuation of the policy of detente.”

Kreisky said that as a result of his recent fact-finding mission to the Middle East he believes “there is a chance for peace because of objective political conditions, not because the Arabs are any more peace-loving than any other people.” He emphasized his long held view that peace in the region required resolution of the Palestinian problem and “the Palestinians, whether one likes it or not, are represented by the PLO.” According to Kreisky, the Palestine Liberation Organization is very much involved in terrorism but “all national liberation movements. are headed in the beginning by terrorists.

Asked if Middle East peace and a solution of the Palestinian problem could not be best served by greater support for the Camp David process, Kreisky replied that while Camp David “gave tremendous support to peace between Israel and Egypt, real lasting peace cannot be achieved via the Camp David process.”

Kreisky acknowledged that anti-Semitism exists in Europe today but that it is without political consequences. A possible exception, he said, was France where the situation is “a phenomenon I cannot analyze. Whether it is a symptom of neo-fascism or other things it is very difficult to explain.”

The Jewish youth delegates met earlier with President Rudolf Kirchschloeger of Austria who told them that in light of the horrors of the Holocaust, it is incumbent on “leaders who are politically responsible to give a guarantee that such terrible things as happened will not happen again.”

He said “This should be the main task of the people who hold political power and also of the young people of Austria.” Kirchschloege, assured the delegation that “I have abstained from an contacts with the PLO and its representatives and I am continuing to do so.”

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