BONN (Feb. 15)
The West German Government will stop all forms of economic aid to Egypt if the Cairo Government goes through with its plans to have Walter Ulbricht, Communist East Germany’s chief of state, visit Cairo, it was announced here today by State Secretary Karl-Gunther von Hase, chief spokesman for the Government.
Ulbricht is due to start his six-day state visit to Egypt on February 24. New efforts are under way today to get Egypt’s President Nasser to cancel his invitation to Ulbricht, Mr. Von Hase said. At the same time, however, he reiterated that no West German military aid will be given to any countries “in areas of tension”–meaning Israel. But he also asserted that, should the Ulbricht visit eventuate, political relations between West Germany and Egypt would be reviewed by the Bonn Government.
Mr. Von Hase revealed that, during last week’s conference between Chancellor Ludwig Erhard and Ambassador Felix E. Shinnar, Israel’s envoy to this country, in charge of the purchasing mission in Cologne, the Chancellor gave Mr. Shinnar a letter to Israel Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, explaining “the difficulties in giving military aid to Israel.” Mr. Erhard talked to Mr. Shinnar, according to Mr. Von Hase, about a forthcoming meeting with Mr. Eshkol. (Cairo dispatches had said that part of the price Nasser exacted from West Germany was cancellation of the forthcoming Eshkol-Erhard conference. The Government spokesman insisted that Bonn wants to come to agreement with Israel about the matter of military aid. (Mr. Shinnar was recalled to Israel for consultations immediately after the Erhard talk.)
Mr. Von Hase expressed his Government’s “disappointment” over Israel’s rejection of compensatory aid to make up for haltingarms assistance, said that West Germany did not agree with Israel’s Prime Minister Levi Eshkol about the latter’s insistence that the arms cancellation threatens the balance of power in the Middle East, and said Bonn would continue seeking a common basis for talks with Israel.
Cairo dispatches received here today indicated that not only is Ulbricht expected there but that extraordinary honors would be extended to him by housing him at Kubbch Palace, the Egyptain Government’s chief guest house.” The Cairo press also continued to depict Ulbricht’s “forthcoming” visit as a political victory for Nasser. Some Egyptian newspaper editorials called on West Germany to follow its denial of further arms shipments to Israel by severance of economic assistance to the Jewish state.