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German Foreign Minister Reported Unwilling to Recognize Israel

The Israel Foreign Ministry refused to comment today on a statement by West German Foreign Minister Heinrich von Brentano that the “time was not yet ripe” for the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and West Germany. An Israeli spokesman said the Ministry had not received an authoritative text of Herr von Brentano’s interview, but did not hold out a promise of a comment when the text was obtained.

The press in several Arab countries credits von Brentano’s statement to King Saud’s recent stopover for consultation with Bonn governmental figures.

While highly placed Israelis have pointedly refrained from mentioning the question of Jerusalem-Bonn contacts, the Israelis have tacitly expected that after the German elections, and particularly in view of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer’s overwhelming victory at the polls, Bonn would take an early opportunity to move in the direction of the establishment of relations. More recent reports from Bonn indicate that the Germans may prefer to open formal relations on the consular level rather than on the diplomatic plane.

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