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Austrian Official Pledges That His Country Will Accept All Jews Allowed to Leave the Soviet Union

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The Vice Chancellor of Austria, Fred Sinowatz yesterday pledged that his country would accept all Jews allowed to leave the Soviet Union.

Addressing a delegation of Jewish leaders organized by Jack Spitzer, President of B’nai B’rith International, Sinowatz indicated that he was uncertain about Soviet intentions on the release of Jews. Emigration from the USSR dropped about 90 percent during the past year.

Austria has served as a stopping-off point for tens of thousands of Jews leaving the Soviet Union, as well as the new home for other thousands, for which Spitzer expressed the gratitude of Jews the world over. There had been reports that the government of Chancellor Bruno Kreisky planned to shut down its transit centers for Jewish emigrants.

Under challenge from the Jewish delegation about Kreisky’s overtures to Yasir Arafat, leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and to Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi, supporter and trainer of world terrorists, Sinowatz said that the PLO was not granted full diplomatic status and that Qaddafi had, in effect, invited himself to Austria earlier this year.

However, Sinowatz, who is viewed by the Austrian press as the likely successor to Kreisky, indicated that he saw no chance for peace in the Middle East without the inclusion of the Palestinians. He added that the preservation of Israel’s security and integrity also is a requirement. The peace-making process requires discussion by a broad range of peoples and groups in the Arab world, he declared.

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