WARSAW, Poland, Nov. 2, 1989 (UPI) -- East German leader Egon Krenz arrived Thursday for talks with Polish leaders in a visit a Solidarity newspaper said signaled implicit ''approval of Soviet perestroika and Polish reforms.''
Krenz traveled to Polish capital after wrapping up a two-day visit to Moscow, where he expressed support for Soviet-style reform but scorned promoters of German unification for living in a ''world of illusions'' and said the BerlinWall would not be torn down.
He was scheduled to meet with Poland's communist President Wojciech Jaruzelski, communist party leader Mieczyslaw Rakowski and Solidarity Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki, whose election this summer ended four decades of communist rule.
Both Solidarity and communist-run newspapers said Krenz's visit and his actions since taking office last month were clear signs that the East German leader was following a more moderate course than his hard-line predecessor, Erich Honecker, who resigned two weeks ago.
The Solidarity newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza said the trip itself was evidence of Krenz's ''approval of Soviet perestroika and Polish reforms, which up till now have been rejected by Berlin.''
Zycie Warszawy, a communist newspaper, said Krenz was taking the only practical course following weeks of massive pro-democracy demonstrations and the exodus of tens of thousands of disenchanted East Germans to the West.
''The society has crossed a certain barrier and set in motion a process which can not be ignored nor stopped,'' Zycie said. ''It seems that Krenz is aware of it.''
In Moscow Wednesday, Krenz hailed Mikhail Gorbachev for ''making socialism more attractive'' and said the two leaders ''managed to reach total agreement'' at a three-hour meeting despite Krenz's record as a hard-liner and the Soviet leader's position as the East Bloc's No. 1 reformer.
During a lively 90-minute sparring match with reporters, Krenz alternated between bellicose restatements of the unyielding positions for which he is known and deft accommodations to the fast-changing communist world.
Borrowing a page from Gorbachev's foreign policy book, Krenz took a benign view of rapid change in Hungary and neighboring Poland and said ''each (Warsaw Pact) state has the sovereign right to make its own decisions.''
But he defended the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia with the curt explanation.
''I don't have to review anything because we are in 1989, not 1968,'' he said.
In his own country, Krenz described as a ''very good sign'' the demonstrations by tens of thousands of East Germans in the past month and said ''many of them are in the streets to show that they support the renovation of socialism.''
Krenz met with Gorbachev in what the East German Communist Party's new chief called ''an atmosphere that can exist only between two friends'' on his first foreign trip since he replaced Erich Honecker two weeks ago.
But unlike Gorbachev, who told West Germans in June the Berlin Wall ''can disappear if the conditions that called it into existence are removed,'' Krenz said the wall symbolizes the differences between inferior capitalism and superior socialism.
''It is more than a border between two countries,'' Krenz said. ''As a matter of fact, it is a border between two social systems -- between two military blocs.
''We should have a realistic point of view,'' he said. ''We should not live in a world of illusions.''
At another point Krenz said, ''I am deeply convinced that socialism is a better idea.''
Asked by a reporter how he as a German can oppose the goal of German reunification, Krenz responded: ''I assure you this question is not part of our agenda. We cannot reunite now because socialism and capitalism have never coexisted on German soil.''
Krenz, who arrived in Moscow late Tuesday, said he and Gorbachev had ''agreed we should accept the fact that two different German states exist.''
Krenz pledged to ''create opportunities for each citizen of East Germany to obtain a visa and passport to go to any country in the world.'' Honecker's resignation Oct. 18 followed a five-week exodus of East Germans to the West.
Krenz, 52 and six years younger than Gorbachev, projected the new image of an energetic communist leader as he repeatedly punctuated his statements by stabbing the air with his fingers or pounding it with closed fists.
Krenz denied widespread reports that Gorbachev had played a role in persuading Honecker to resign.
''I want to reject this link. Mikhail Gorbachev would never act in such a way,'' he said.
Krenz also dismissed reporters' characterizations of him as a hard-liner.
''I don't think you have the right to call me a hard-liner,'' he told one journalist, his voice nearly rising to a shouting pitch. ''I am a communist. I have always believed I am a member of my party for whom the most noble ideal is to work for the betterment of the world's peoples.''
Told by a reporter that he ''sounds like Gorbachev'' in some of his more recent statements, Krenz retorted: ''Thanks for the compliment.''