VIENNA (Jul. 8)
Chancellor Bruno Kreisky confirmed yesterday that Abdullah Frangi, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s diplomatic representative in Bonn, will become the PLO’s diplomatic envoy in Austria as well. “He shall get his accreditation,” Kreisky said.
The announcement was unexpected inasmuch as the Austrian government appeared in no hurry to receive a replacement for the former PLO representative, Ghazi Hussein, who was declared persona non grata and ousted from the country last summer for his alleged involvement in an arms smuggling attempt at the Vienna airport.
Frangi had been considered as a possible successor for several months but Kreisky himself said there was no rush to fill the post. He apparently changed his mind in light of the PLO’s precarious position following the destruction of its military forces and bases in Lebanon by Israel.
Kreisky met Frangi here yesterday and described him to reporters later as a “balanced and proper man who has always been in line with (PLO leader Yasir)Arafat.” The Austrians have always differentiated between Arafat’s mainstream El Fatah and the other Palestinian groups within and outside of the PLO.
The line was drawn sharply after the terrorist attack on the Jewish community center in Vienna last August which caused several fatalities. That outrage has been attributed to an extremist group of Palestinians headed by Abu Nidal.
Austria was the first Western nation to grant the PLO quasi diplomatic accreditation. The PLO diplomat in Vienna represents his organization before the Austrian government and at several United Nations agencies based here where the PLO holds observer status.