Spectacular West German Aid to Egypt is Held As Unlikely
President Anwar Sadat of Egypt is likely to secure spectacular promises of aid during his coming official visit to Bonn March 31-April 3, the first by an Egyptian head of state to West Germany. According to German government sources the visit is taking place at a stage when Sadat was “not without problems.” They noted the “danger of Egypt being isolated within the Arab camp” and the country’s “critical economic situation.”
Bonn would “try within the borders of what is possible, to help relieve these economic and political problems,” the source pointed out, but recalled that Egypt, after India, was the second largest recipient of German development aid. Bonn has already supplied $360 million in capital aid in the form of cheap long-term credits to Egypt, and a treaty providing for an additional $40 million aid this year, under an existing aid program, will be signed during the visit. Bonn has also undertaken to provide $50 million towards a planned special credit by the European Economic Community.
However, government sources admit that these two commitments were undertaken long before the planned visit. The sources said Bonn believed Egypt’s requirements should “be directed to the economic power of the oil producing countries.” Referring to Egyptian suggestions that Bonn act as one of the guarantors of a future Mideast peace treaty, the sources said this would only be done together with other EEC countries. But the question was “completely open,” and “would not play a prominent role in the coming talks.”
Referring to reports that Sadat wished to buy the French-German-built Alpha jet from Bonn, sources said “our position is clear. We will not deliver any Alpha jets. Sadat knows this and has been told our attitude, and we don’t expect him to raise it.”
SCHMIDT PRAISES SADAT
In an interview in the Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram. Chancellor Helmut Schmidt said Sadat was “one of the most important political personalities of our time. He has achieved great things for Egypt. Through concluding the interim agreement (in Sinai) he not only showed a desire for peace and personal courage,” but had also shown a way which “could lead to a solution of the long conflict, which has especially burdened the Palestinian people.”
Schmidt added that Sadat understood the “psychological and political difficulties” involved in Israel and the PLO recognizing one another, but “I see no alternative if one wants peace. When this problem is solved, the question of recognition of the PLO by third states will also no longer present a problem.”