WASHINGTON (Dec. 21)
West German Chancellor Ludwig Erhard told the National Press Club today he hoped that the “modest and insignificant” questions remaining between West Germany and Israel would be solved and that he took personal satisfaction in his role in establishing diplomatic relations with Israel.
The Chancellor spoke in response to a question that recalled the “special German position” toward the Jewish people and Israel he voiced during the establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel. He was asked to tell how this “special position” had been reflected in the development of West German-Israeli relations.
Mr. Erhard stated that one now could say that relations between West Germany and Israel have been consolidated and the problem of Israel settled on an inter-Governmental level. He stressed he had undertaken “great efforts” to establish diplomatic relations and was “happy” to have been able to take appropriate steps at the decisive hour. The Chancellor expressed hope that remaining questions–which he termed “modest and insignificant” when compared with past problems–could also be solved on a mutually agreeable basis.
Mr. Erhard was also asked why a nuclear non-proliferation treaty that would prevent Israel, India, Sweden, and Japan from developing nuclear weapons was considered discriminatory by Bonn. He answered that his country was interested in limiting the number of nuclear powers but thought settlement of the NATC nuclear arms question had priority over the issue of the non-proliferation treaty. He thought his position was in line with that of the United States Government.