BONN (Jan. 29)
The United States is reportedly applying pressure on West Germany to annul the planned sale of 30,000 bullet-proof vests to the Syrian army this year. Chancellor Helmut Kohl is expected to make a binding decision on the deal shortly. It was originally confirmed by the government but officials said later that it was against Bonn’s policy to sell military material to Syria.
If the contract is cancelled, West Germany would have to pay a penalty running into several million dollars. A spokesman for the Fulda-based Mehler Co. which manufactures the vests, told reporters here that the sale has been confirmed by the government and the is no backing out of it. He said it would go through.
But a spokesman for the Economics Ministry said the matter is still under consideration. He added that the government would keep its word to Parliament that no West Germany military equipment will go to Syria.