Bonn Official rules out a role in any Hormuz fleet

Defense Minister Hans Apel has again ruled out as unconstitutional a West German role in any joint Western fleet in the Strait of Hormuz, Monitor correspondent Elizabeth Pond reports. An influential Hamburg newspaper with good sources in the government has hinted, however, that such a narrow interpretation of the Constitution might be rethought after the Oct. 5 election.

Dr. Apel made his latest statement in a radio interview. He repeated Bonn's firm official position: that the constitutional prohibition on use of West German forces outside the country except in case of attack on West Germany precludes any West German naval patrols in the Mideast, and that the NATO area of competence should not be widened to include the Mideast.

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