VIENNA (Mar. 9)
Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi will begin an official four-day visit to Austria tomorrow, the government announced today. According to Chancellor Bruno Kreisky, the visit is in response to a longstanding invitation. Talks between Qaddafi and Austrian officials are expected to focus on economic matters. Kreisky said that the Austrian economy would suffer if the visit did not take place.
Libya is Austria’s third largest supplier of oil. Austrian companies have been engaged extensively in the Libyan market. The nationalized Voest -Alpine Steel Corp. is currently building a steel plant in Libya.
Qaddafi is scheduled to visit Voest’s main production plant in Linz. A contract for the construction of two vocational training centers in Libya is said to be in preparation.
KREISKY: NOTHING PROVED AGAINST QADDAFI
When reporters asked Kreisky today how he could account for the visit of a men who has been accused of having ordered the assassination of President Reagan, he replied that nothing has been proved and the reports in the press have never been substantiated.
“This is a propaganda campaign.” Kreisky charged. “We cannot go along with every change in American foreign policy. Sooner or later the United States will have good relations with Libya again. We have to be a stable partner in international relations.” Kreisky stressed that the U.S. has not completely cut its economic ties with Libya but only reduced them.
Qaddafi is expected to be accompanied by the Libyan Foreign Minister and the Minister of Heavy Industries. In addition to Kreisky, he will meet with Foreign Minister Willipald Pahr, and the Speaker of Parliament and union president, Anton Benya.