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Bonn Considers Establishing Trade Mission in Israel; to Consult Arabs

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Regret over the decision of the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, to limit cultural and social relations with Germany was expressed today in a number of West German newspapers. Some of them attributed Israel’s move to the fact that the Bonn Government refuses to establish diplomatic relations with the Jewish State.

The Stadtanzeiger, a Cologne newspaper, carries a report revealing that the West German Government is now considering the possibility of establishing a trade mission in Jerusalem similar to the Israel Purchasing Mission in Germany. The report adds, however, that the West German Foreign Ministry will first sound out the Arab states to see if the establishment of such a mission would be considered by the Arabs as an unfriendly act. The Foreign Ministry fears that the Arab states may retaliate by granting recognition to the East German Government.

Die Zeit, a Hamburg weekly, came out today with an article suggesting that the Bonn Government establish a “more intense” program of aid to Israeli students in German universities, proposing the provision of scholarships to Israeli students for such purposes. Government sources here are still declining to comment on the Knesset’s decision on German-Israel relations.

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