NEW YORK (Mar. 9)
Canada has no plans to invite Austrian President Kurt Waldheim for an official visit, the Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations, Stephen Lewis, has informed the World Jewish Congress here.
“Our Minister of External Affairs, the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark, has stated that there are no plans to invite Waldheim to Canada, nor has he expressed a desire to visit the country,” Lewis stated in a letter to Israel Singer, Secretary General of the WJC. His letter was in response to a request by the WJC that Canada issue no invitation to Waldheim in light of his Nazi past. Waldheime was Austria’s first Ambassador to Canada after World War II.
The Canadian position is analogous to that of the United States. The White House stated last August that President Reagan would not invite Waldheim.
The Austrian President was exposed by the WJC and others during his election campaign last summer to have been involved in atrocities against civilians and resistance fighters while serving as a Wehrmacht intelligence officer in the Balkans during the war.
He has been effectively boycotted by the international community since his election last July 8. His diplomatic isolation was broken last week, however, when King Hussein of Jordan, in Austria on a skiing holiday, invited Waldheim to visit his country this year.