BONN (Dec. 21)
The governments of West Germany and Israel will jointly undertake 28 research projects beginning next year, mainly in scientific fields, it was announced here last week.
The projects in medicine, irrigation, agriculture, physics, literature and other areas are the outcome of a 1986 agreement between Chancellor Helmut Kohl and the then-prime minister of Israel, Shimon Peres.
They established the German-Israeli Joint Research Foundation and each committed his government to make available 75 million marks (about $47 million) for grants in research.
A committee of the foundation met here to decide on the projects. Heinz Risenhuber, the minister for research, presided. The foundation’s constitution calls for projects of interest to both countries. When fully funded, by 1990, the foundation is expected to distribute some 10 million marks (about $6 million) a year in research grants.
The work will be done mainly in Israel, with German scientists or scientific institutions participating. Observers here noted that this will amount to channelling more financial assistance from West Germany to Israel. The Bonn government now makes available 140 million marks a year in long-term development credits to Israel.
The amount has not been increased since 15 years ago, when Israel and West Germany established diplomatic relations.