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France Reiterates Mufti Free to Leave; Ignores British Request to Detain Him

A French foreign office spokesman today reiterated that the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem, who is now living in a villa outside of Paris, is free to leave the country anytime he wishes, or anytime some country specifically requests his presence. Up to now, he added, no country, including the Arab states, has asked for the Mufti.

The spokesman denied recent reports that France had agreed, following a British request, to prevent the Arab leader from leaving. He confirmed that a note had been received from the British Government, but said that it had not asked France to retain the Mufti, but had nearly stressed the dangers inherent in the present Palestine situation, and suggested the advisability of keeping the Mufti in France.