German Official Tells Israelis He’s Ashamed of Racist Violence

Visiting Germany Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel told Israel’s leaders Wednesday he was “ashamed as a German” of the racist outbreaks that had taken place in his country in recent months.

In separate working sessions with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, the German guest, here on a one-day official visit, said his government fully understood Israel’s concern over this issue, which both Israeli leaders took the opportunity to voice to the German minister.

On the diplomatic plane, Kinkel stated his government’s decision to become more involved in Middle East peacemaking, specifically in two areas of the multilateral talks: water resources and economic development.

Peres said several major foreign powers had taken leadership roles in various specific fields — Japan, for instance, in ecology. To this, Kinkel replied that Germany wants to take the lead in the field of water cooperation, especially in regard to desalination.

Reviewing the bilateral peace talks, Rabin said Syrian President Hafez Assad had still not taken a step that would serve to “convince” public opinion, in Israel and in his own country, that he was seriously committed to peace.

Nevertheless, Rabin stressed, the two countries have embarked “on a road on which there is no turning back.”

Rabin urged the German government to end delays in the adoption of legislation aimed at curbing compliance with the Arab boycott against Israel.

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