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Austrian Leader Says Peace in Europe Linked to Peace in the Middle East Kreisky Expects to Visit Isr

May 23, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Dr. Rudolph Kirchschlaeger, the Austrian Foreign Minister, said here yesterday that the peace of Europe was inextricably linked to peace in the Middle East. The Austrian diplomat who visited both Israel and Egypt in the past three weeks, told newsmen accompanying President Nixon on his summit trip to Moscow that “A state of detente or real peace” in Europe was “impossible with a situation in the Middle East where war can break out at any moment.”

(See P. 3 for Moscow arrival story.)

Dr. Kirchschlaeger and Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky met with the newsmen after conferring with Nixon and Secretary of State William P. Rogers. Kreisky had no comments on the Middle East. Dr. Kirchschlaeger disclosed that he had informed Rogers of his recent conversations in Cairo with President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and added that Sadat authorized him to report this to Rogers.

Asked by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency if his meetings with Egyptian leaders indicated progress toward a partial settlement to reopen the Suez Canal or an overall settlement in the Middle East, the Foreign Minister replied that he had brought no message from Sadat to Rogers. He said, however, that Egypt was ready to discuss “all questions with one exception–territorial questions,” and that Sadat and other Egyptian officials he met in Cairo “repeatedly said they were not willing to cede one square millimeter of territory.” Dr. Kirchschlaeger said that. “At this particular time, this is the central question. On this they (the Egyptians) are adamant but all else is open for discussion.”


Dr. Kirchschlaeger said that at this juncture Austria “has no intention of playing the role of mediator” in the Middle East. He said he did not intend to visit Cairo again in the foreseeable future as a result of his conversations with Rogers, but the Egyptian Foreign Minister will visit Vienna although no date has been set. Dr. Kirchschlaeger said he had no contacts regarding his Middle East findings with United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim or with UN mediator Dr. Gunnar V. Jarring.

Kreisky told the JTA yesterday that he expected to visit Israel for the first time after the Socialist International Conference to be held here at the end of June. Premier Golda Meir of Israel will attend the conference. Kreisky, leader of the Austrian Social Democratic Party is Jewish. His older brother Paul emigrated to Israel in 1938. The Austrian Chancellor and President Nixon exchanged toasts at a luncheon Kreisky gave in honor of the American leader here yesterday. Nixon hailed Kreisky as “one of the world’s top statesmen.”

“The size of a country does not determine the quality of its leadership,” Nixon said, “and a small country has produced one of the top statesmen of the world who contributes greatly to the thinking which the world needs if we are to build what we all want–generations of peace in the years ahead.” Kreisky joined the Socialist movement in Austria in 1926 and was twice imprisoned when his party was outlawed in the 1930s. He was elected Chancellor in 1970.

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