BONN — West Germany and France agreed Friday to establish a joint committee to coordinate finance and economic policy. They also agreed to cooperate in two military ventures.
The economic move was seen as a response to the international financial crisis and the lack of clear direction from Washington. It extended to the field of finance the concept of a "European identity" in Western strategic thinking put forward by West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and French President Francois Mitterrand.
Those two leaders, along with French Premier Jacques Chirac and top finance and defense ministers, met for a two-day summit in Karlsruhe, in southern West Germany near the French border.
An aide to Chirac said that Bonn and Paris now will coordinate economic strategy "as closely as we do in security and foreign affairs."
Kohl and Mitterrand told a news conference Friday that the joint committee will include French and German finance and economic ministers, who will seek to closely link the two nations' policies.
U.S. Deficit Cited
Earlier, a communique issued by Finance Ministers Gerhard Stoltenberg of West Germany and Edouard Balladur of France urged the United States to reduce its federal budget deficit as the first step in alleviating the crisis in the world's stock and currency markets.
Their announcement said that a further fall in the dollar's value would damage both the U.S. and world economies.
The regular meeting between the heads of state was the 50th in the 25 years since France and West Germany signed their postwar Treaty of Friendship.
In the military field, the French and German leaders announced a joint plan to build attack helicopters and establish a French-German army brigade to be stationed in southwestern West Germany.
The countries will jointly build the PAH-2 attack helicopter armed with anti-tank missiles. About 400 of the aircraft are to be delivered by 1996 at a cost of $7.8 billion, shared equally.
The joint army brigade, according to summit aides, will have four battalions and will be stationed in the West German town of Boeblingen, near Stuttgart. It will be commanded by a French general in peacetime.