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Egypt Recognizes East Germany, Wiping out Possibility of Resumed Ties with Bonn

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Egypt’s diplomatic recognition of East Germany was attributed by West German leaders today to pressures from the Soviet Union plus a promise from Moscow of more weapons. Foreign Minister Willy Brandt said the Egyptian move had wiped out hopes for resumption of West German diplomatic relations with Egypt which Cairo severed in 1965 after the Bonn regime recognized Israel.

But Mr. Brandt did not see any other immediate consequences. He said that most West German capital aid programs to Egypt were completed but three technical aid projects remain “which scarcely can be broken off.” These include two schools in Cairo and a project to combat the disease, bilharzia, at an oasis in the Nile Valley. West German exports to Egypt amounted to $68 million in 1968.

Egypt was the fifth Arab state to recognize East Germany. Mr. Brandt refused to predict whether more Arab and African states would follow Cairo’s lead. “In view of the sharpening of the Middle East conflict and the massive activity of the Soviet Union, developments cannot be predicted,” he said.

Mr. Brandt said that up until last Saturday all indications were that Egypt would not establish relations with East Germany. But Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger told newsmen today that “this development was predictable inasmuch as the Soviet influence on Cairo has grown from month to month.”

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