Kreisky Trying to Convince Germany to Recognize the PLO

Chancellor Bruno Kreisky of Austria is trying to convince the West German government that it should recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization, sources in the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) said. Kreisky, visiting West Berlin last week, appeared on state television to explain his friendly attitude toward the PLO and his belief that PLO chief Yasir Arafat has shown “moderation.”

According to Kreisky, former West German Chancellor Willy Brandt shares his opinion of Arafat. “If you do not believe me, ask Brandt,” the Austrian leader told German viewers. SPD sources here said their party is in regular consultation with Kreisky on the Middle East and other issues.

Kreisky is pressing Bonn to take a more active role in mediating the Arab-Israeli conflict, the sources said, and their consultations often find expression in initiatives by the Socialist International, currently headed by Brandt. Brandt is presently in Vienna for meetings with Kreisky and West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt is expected to go there in a few days.

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