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The American Jewish Congress says it is “profoundly disappointed” by Egypt’s action in inviting Austrian President Kurt Waldheim for a visit. A statement by Theodore Mann, president of AJCongress, said the decision cannot help but cloud relations between Egypt and world Jewry in the future. The statement said that AJCongress had feared that the influence of Pope John Paul II’s recent reception of Waldheim would “break the moral and political quarantine” in which Waldheim’s past activities as a Nazi officer accused of war crimes against Jews and other civilians had placed him. Waldheim’s attempt to “sanitize” his past is now proceeding “at full pace,” the statement said.

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