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Arabs Protesting Perceived Shift of W. German Policy Toward Israel

December 30, 1982
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Bonn government has been the target of mounting pressure from the Arab world because of a perceived pro-Israel shift in its Middle East policy, West German diplomatic sources said here today.

The pressure is being exerted now, they said, because Bonn will assume the rotating chairmanship of the European Economic Community (EEC) Council of Ministers, beginning January 1, 1983. Since taking office in October, Chancellor Helmut Kohl has indicated that he wants to improve relations with Israel. Unlike his predecessor, Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, Kohl has avoided public criticism of Israeli policies and announced his intention to visit Israel some time next year.

The diplomatic sources said “alarming reports” are coming In from German embassies in various Arab countries and Arab ambassadors accredited to Bonn are protesting what they termed West Germany’s “unconditional surrender to Israel.”

The sources noted that Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat singled out West Germany as a country which “disappointed” the Arabs, in his talks this week with Chancellor Bruno Kreisky of Austria. The sources revealed that Deputy Foreign Minister Juergen Moellemann, who strongly favors the Arab cause in the Middle East conflict, failed to receive the invitation he sought to visit Saudi Arabia. Moellemann is planning a good-will tour of Arab capitals.

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