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Kohl Says No Decision Yet by Germany to Sell Arms to Saudi Arabia

Chancellor Helmut Kohl reiterated at a meeting with World Jewish Congress president Edgar Bronfman here Monday night that “no decision” has been made yet on West German arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

He added assurances that only “defensive weapons” would be involved in any arms deal with the Saudis and that the sales contracts would contain specific “safeguards” aginst the transfer of the weapons to another Arab country.

Bronfman’s meeting with Kohl was a follow-up to the meeting they had in Washington on March 5. At that time, the German leader met with a delegation of American Jewish leaders who expressed strong opposition to the sale of German arms to Arab countries technically in a state of war with Israel.

Kohl promised them that Bonn would exclude the highly sophisticated Leopard II tank from sales to the Saudis and would place limitations on other types of weaponry that might be sold.

Bronfman said after Monday night’s meeting that he was convinced that the Bonn government was the most steadfast supporter of Israel’s interests within the European community. He said Kohl promised to help the WJC in its efforts to aid Jews in Eastern Europe and in Arab countries.

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