BONN (May. 12)
The first agreement between West Germany and Israel on economic aid, providing for credits of 160,000,000 marks ($40,000,000) to Israel, was signed here today after months of arduous negotiations.
The pact was signed by Israeli Ambassador Asher Ben-Nathan and State Secretary Rolf Lahr of the West German Foreign Office. The two officials made brief speeches expressing satisfaction over the successful negotiation of the agreement. The Israeli envoy recalled that it was signed exactly one year from the day when Chancellor Ludwig Erhard sent a letter to Premier Levi Eshkol, expressing West Germany’s wish for normal diplomatic relations with Israel.
A joint communique was issued simultaneously in Jerusalem and Bonn on the terms of the agreement. The credits are being provided for development and construction. Terms of the credits will vary according to the nature of the projects for which the loans will be used and they will be granted in the “normal way,” according to the communique.
It had been previously indicated that West Germany would provide credits only on an annual basis with each year’s agreement to be negotiated annually. The communique said the agreement was within the framework of West Germany’s general policy of aid for economic reconstruction in other countries and that it accorded with the wish of West Germany and Israel to deepen economic relations between them. The agreement will be published in full.