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New German leader sees mandate for missile plan

West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl told US congressional leaders Tuesday he expected to win an election mandate in March that would erase any doubts about Bonn's commitment to accepting new NATO missiles next year.

Mr. Kohl described a strategy for winning the elections he has promised for next spring by blaming the left-liberal opposition for West German economic ills and stressing the need for a stronger NATO alliance.

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A sensitive subject during the Kohl visit has been Bonn's decision in light of its economic problems to raise military spending next year by less than 1 percent after inflation.