German Chancellor Offers Full Diplomatic Recognition to Israel
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German Chancellor Offers Full Diplomatic Recognition to Israel

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Chancellor Ludwig Erhard, in an official statement issued to the press announced today that the West German Government is ready to establish diplomatic relations with Israel and to compensate Israel for the rest of the promised arms aid which was cut off after a protest from Egypt. The statement also said that the Bonn Government will stop all economic aid and further credits to Egypt.

The statement emphasized that the West German Government rejects any kind of intervention in her affairs, and particularly in her relationship with Israel. At the same time it pointed out that the granting of diplomatic recognition to Israel is not directed against any of the Arab states. The Chancellor’s statement stressed that President Nasser of Egypt has jeopardized the traditional German-Arab friendship and that the state visit made by Premier Ulbricht of Communist East Germany to Egypt, at Nasser’s invitation, is bound to influence this friendship.

The chancellor’s statement was read at an extraordinary press conference by State Secretary Karl-Gunther von Hase who declared that the Chancellor, empowered by the Federal Republic’s constitution, has spelled out his Government’s foreign policy, as well as his own position. The statement made it clear that the policy has been formulated after consultation with Germany’s principal allies–the United States, France and Britain. It noted that all of Germany’s political parties represented in the Bonn Parliament have been informed of the policy statement.

(Official circles in Jerusalem told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that the statement by Chancellor Erhard is a “surprise,” in view of the Bonn Government’s position of the last week. Observers in Jerusalem wondered today whether Dr. Erhard’s mention of fulfilling his Government’s arms aid agreement with Israel meant that he was now ready to carry out the Israeli-German pact and will resume Germany’s arms deliveries upon which Israel insists.)

A summary of Chancellor Erhard’s statement, as issued, follows:

“The Federal Republic has investigated the Middle East situation thoroughly in several conferences dedicated to this subject. The heads of all parties represented in the Bundestag were informed. The United States, Britain and France were consulted because of their particular responsibility toward Germay as a whole.


“The Federal Government states that, through the Ulbricht invitation and his visit to Egypt and his reception, which is a provocation to any German, the political relations between Egypt and the Federal Republic have been put in heaviest Jeopardy. After Ulbricht’s visit, all Arab states must know that President Nasser’s policy is bound to disturb or even to destroy the long-proven and traditional, friendly policy existing between Germany and the Arab world as a whole. The Federal Government deplored this development caused by President Nasser, which opens an increasingly free path to Communist incursion into the Arab zone.

“The German people on both sides of the demarcation line expects that its vital interests should be safeguarded, and Ulbricht is the representative of a Communist minority which is able to keep millions of Germans behind walls and barbed wire, only due to the intervention of a foreign power. This fact is not unknown to Egypt, yet she has accepted this injustice in the face of all peoples who have arrived at their independence due to the right of self-determination.

“There is only one German people. The Government of the Federal Republic is the sole representative of all Germans, and all of Germany’s allies have supported this principle. Our relations with 97 sovereign nations which do not maintain any relations with the Soviet zone of Germany are a convincing proof of this assertion. After very careful consideration of the problems as a whole, and through weighing all possible developments, even those outside of the immediate interests of Germany in the Middle East, the Chancellor has decided:

“1) The invitation of Ulbricht by Egypt has been countered by the Federal Republic by the stopping of economic aid. This means that the Federal Republic will not participate in Egypt’s second five-year plan. The Federal Government will not grant to Egypt any further capital aid, and refuses to grant Egypt any delays in the payment of Government-guaranteed debts due for long-period credits. Running obligations will be reconsidered, of course in accordance with international law.

“2) That part of the German people living in the Soviet Zone has been deprived of the self-evident right to self-determination. The justification of this rule by force will be considered by the Federal Government of Germany an unfriendly act and countered in each case by appropriate measures.


“3) The Federal Republic of Germany wishes to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. This step is bound to normalize conditions. It is not directed against Arab country.

“4) By its decision not to supply arms to areas of tension, and by deciding to compensate for the rest of deliveries pending, in agreement with Israel, the Federal Government has contributed considerably to the evolution of a clear Middle East policy. The Federal Government thinks it necessary to declare in this context that it rejects endeavors to influence its policy in this area particularly as regards its relations with Israel, be it the ‘conflict partner’ who tries to do so or whoever he may be.

“5) Together with its allies, who have repeatedly asked Germany to be responsible for peace and quiet in the Middle East, the Federal Republic will endeavor through its presence to diminish tensions.”

The Bonn Government and West German industrial circles, meanwhile, started a vigorous campaign to persuade German technicians to quit their Jobs in the Egyptian aircraft and rocket industry. In letters and other matter circulated among the hundreds of West Germans working in Egypt, the technicians have been warned against “playing with your life.” The campaign is believed to have been triggered by the arrest last week in Cairo of several West German citizens on espionage charges.

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