CHANCELLOR Helmut Kohl followed up his announcement of a new aid package for the coalition forces fighting Iraq by saying yesterday that Germany could not avoid its responsibilities in the Gulf crisis. Mr. Kohl told parliament that Germany must firmly support Israel and the allied coalition against Iraq with money and military equipment, even if it could not send troops to the Gulf region.
Germany promised Tuesday an extra $5.5 billion for the United States, anti-aircraft missiles and airmen for its NATO ally Turkey, and defense equipment for Israel.
The commitment came after two weeks of growing criticism from abroad that Germany, whose Constitution bars its soldiers from being deployed outside NATO countries, was sitting back and letting its allies in the anti-Iraqi coalition carry the burden of war in the Gulf.
Bonn's failure clearly to support the allies as well as the rapid emergence of Europe's biggest antiwar movement led critics abroad to charge that Germany had become too rich and selfish to play the role its allies expected.
``In view of the current world political developments, it would be a fatal mistake if we closed our eyes to the dangers to peace and freedom,'' Kohl said.
``There can be no safe little corner in world politics for us Germans, and Germany cannot flee from its responsibility. We want to make our contribution to a world of peace, freedom, and justice.''