BONN — Chancellor Helmut Kohl today named Economics Minister Martin Bangemann to lead negotiations aimed at giving West German companies full access to U.S. "Star Wars" research, the government press office said.
Kohl's government has said private companies are free to join the research into the program, officially known as the Strategic Defense Initiative. Bangemann will lead negotiations to ensure that Americans share their scientific research with the Germans, the press office said.
The unexpected announcement of Bangemann's appointment came a day before Kohl's Cabinet was to meet to formally approve negotiations over the defense program.
Kohl announced the appointment early because he expects the Cabinet on Wednesday to make a "clear decision without major conflicts," the press office said.