West German Firms to Take Part in 'Star Wars'

Associated Press

U.S. Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger said today that he and Chancellor Helmut Kohl reached agreement on West German participation in the American "Star Wars" research plan.

"We're very pleased that the chancellor and I have been able to work out basic agreement on the remaining issues for the Strategic Defense Initiative," Weinberger told a news conference at this NATO base in Bavaria.

The Strategic Defense Initiative is the official name of the American space-based missile defense program popularly known as Star Wars.

West German participation would be limited to private companies, unlike the U.S. agreement with Britain that also calls for a governmental role.

"I look forward to the agreement being signed in a very short time now," Weinberger said.

Results in Two Accords

He added that the talks with Bonn officials would result in two accords, one dealing with participation by West German private firms and the other with sharing of research results.

Kohl later told reporters that "two or three" major points had been resolved in the talks with Weinberger and that he would send Economics Minister Martin Bangemann to Washington next week to conclude the negotiations.

Neither commented on earlier reports that Kohl's coalition government had relaxed two major conditions for West German participation in Star Wars: a full sharing of research results between the two countries and permission to use the results for civilian purposes in West Germany.

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