BONN (Jul. 22)
A spokesman for the West German Defense Ministry, responding to widespread reports of an arms agreement with the United Arab Republic, today denied that “up to the present moment” such a pact had been reached.
The reports were that negotiations had been in progress between the two countries since last March when two West German defense officials visited a munitions plant in Egypt. It was also reported that a 26,000,000-mark contract had been signed with the UAR to “neutralize the negative effect” which the recent Israel sale of $3,000,000 worth of arms might have had on diplomatic and commercial relations with the Arab countries.
Economic experts in Bonn indicated unofficially that arms negotiations with the UAR were in progress and that hopes were being attached to the projected agreement as likely to lead to closer West German economic relations with the UAR.
Much interest has been expressed in industrial circles here about the recent UAR announcement that construction contracts for the second phase of the huge Aswan Dam in Egypt were still “completely open.” Dr. Ludwing Erhard, the Bonn Minister of Economics, had indicated his willingness to visit Egypt in the fall to discuss West German participation in the building of the dam.