BONN (Jan. 24)
The Bonn government acknowledged Tuesday that it is supporting a $200 million loan to finance Jordan’s purchase of eight advanced Tornado jet fighter-bombers.
Government spokesman Friedhelm Ost said the government had no reservations about making West German credits available for the purpose.
Bonn had taken the position earlier that the loan was a normal commercial transaction with which it was powerless to interfere.
The credit is being supplied by the Munichbased Bayerische Landesbank and is guaranteed by the federal state of Bavaria.
The prime minister of Bavaria, Max Streibl, had a series of discussions about the matter with Chancellor Helmut Kohl and other top officials in Bonn.
The federal government had originally planned to underwrite the loan, but abandoned the project because of vigorous objections by friends of Israel and others.
The Tornado, one of the most sophisticated aircraft in the Western arsenal, is produced jointly by West Germany, Britain and Italy.
Bavarian plants manufacture about 40 percent of its components, but the plane is marketed primarily by the British.
Ost did not deny reports that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had been urging Kohl to finance the deal.