VIENNA (Apr. 26)
Austrian President Kurt Waldheim, an isolated dignitary in most Western countries, will visit Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates in June, his office announced Tuesday. So far, Waldheim’s only trips abroad have been to the Vatican, Jordan and Pakistan.
Waldheim has been a pariah to the Western world since information about his complicity as an officer in the German army were revealed.
Meanwhile, pressure continued to build here as new demands were made this week for Waldheim’s resignation.
The Vienna branch of the Socialist Party reiterated last year’s call, urging the president to step down in an all-but-unanimous resolution adopted at its convention Sunday. Only two delegates at the convention of Socialist Freedom Fighters failed to support the measure.
The resolution called Waldheim an “unbearable load” on the Austrian nation and people, adding that his remaining in office “tremendously harms our country.”
Waldheim said the resolution contradicted democratic principles and insisted he has no intention to resign.
Waldheim’s war record resulted in his placement on the U.S. Department of Justice’s “watchlist” of inadmissable aliens. The Austrian president is barred from visiting the United States in his official capacity.