Egypt, West Germany Renew Contacts

Egypt and West Germany have renewed their contacts, apparently in order to try and work out an agreement providing for the resumption of full diplomatic and economic relations. Six Arab states broke off their diplomatic relations with Bonn in 1965 after West Germany and Israel decided to exchange ambassadors. The West German chief of diplomatic mission in Cairo Hans Wogler, conferred last week with the director of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, Mahmoud Riad. Earlier in the week, the Arab League representative in Bonn was received at the Federal Foreign Ministry for what both sides described as “high level and important talks.”

Observers in Bonn believe that the West German Chancellor, Willy Brandt, is determined to resume relations with the Arab states before the end of the current year, if possible. Brandt apparently is prompted by two motives: to prove to Moscow that West Germany is not “automatically inimical” or “blindly following the imperialist bloc,” and to make West Germany’s economy and political weight felt in the Arab world. According to these observers, Brandt feels that the time is now ripe for such a move, especially since the Western world, with the exception of France, has disappeared from the political horizons of North Africa and the Middle East.

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