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Bonn Denies Egyptian Charge Linking Visit to Israel with Nuclear Cooperation

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An Egyptian newspaper report linking the forthcoming visit to Israel by West Germany’s Minister of Interior Ernst Benda to cooperation between German and Israeli nuclear scientists was denied by a spokesman for the German Ministry today. Mr. Benda will visit Israel from Sept. 9 to 14 and will meet with Foreign Minister Abba Eban and Minister of Interior Moshe Shapiro. He will make the visit in his capacity as president of the German-Israel Friendship Association, according to an announcement here yesterday.

The Cairo newspaper AI-Goumhoria alleged that Mr. Benda would be accompanied by 12 nuclear scientists assigned to cooperate with Israeli nuclear experts and that they were planning nuclear tests. The ministry spokesman said Mr. Benda would be accompanied by only one person, a theologian studying the Old Testament. The travelling companion was identified yesterday, however, as Heinz Westphal, a Social Democratic member of the Bundestag (lower house) who is a vice president of the German-Israel Friendship Association.

In addition to Mr. Benda, Transport Minister Georg Lever will visit Israel on Nov. 1 on the inaugural flight by Lufthansa, the West German airline, between Frankfurt and Tel Aviv. On Nov. 5, Justice Minister Gustav Heinemann will go to Israel for a five-day visit.

Egypt too will have its first official West German visitor since it broke off diplomatic relations with Bonn three years ago following the latter’s recognition of Israel. He is Hans Jurgen Wishnewski. Minister for Economic Aid, who will be in Egypt from Sept. 18 to 23. Officially he is going there at the invitation of Dr. Sarwet Okasha, Egyptian Minister of Culture, in connection with the moving of the Temple of Abu Simbel.

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