U.S. Will Not Attend Waldheim Ceremony

Ronald Lauder, the United States Ambassador to Austria, will be conveniently out of that country when Kurt Waldheim is inaugurated as President on July 8. Lauder has “long-standing plans to be out of Austria for personal reasons from July 4 to July 9,” State Department Deputy spokesman Charles Redman said Wednesday.

Lauder, the son of Estee Lauder, head of the cosmetics firm that bears her name, has been in Vienna for only three months.

A letter signed by 110 members of the House last week urged the U.S. to boycott the inauguration because of the charges that Waldheim has not been truthful about his activities during World War II.

Redman said that the U.S. Embassy Charge d’ Affaires would attend the inauguration.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Edwin Meese indicated Wednesday that a decision might not be made before the inauguration whether to place Waldheim on the so-called watch list barring from the U.S. individuals accused of Nazi war crimes.

He said the Justice Department would meet again with Waldheim’s lawyers to discuss additional information they had refuting the charges.

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