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French Statesman Arrives in Israel; Visit Linked to Pipeline Project

Pierre Montel, chairman of the French National Assembly’s defense committee, arrived tonight in Israel and is scheduled to hold two meetings with Premier David Ben Gurion. During his 10-day stay he will tour the country extensively and will visit Gaza and Elath.

Reports from Paris linked his coming here with the statement made by French Foreign Minister Christian Pineau that France will start building a pipeline across-Israel within a short time. However, neither Israeli nor French sources here confirmed this assumption.

Plans for trans-Israel pipelines to carry oil from the vicinity of Elath, on the Gulf of Akaba, to Haifa on the Mediterranean Sea, will be discussed in detail Sunday at the next meeting of the Cabinet, it became known today.

Meanwhile, one pipeline, eight inches in diameter, intended to provide for Israel’s own needs, is under construction now. Ditches have been dug for this line, and actual laying of pipes is expected to get under-way next week. The second pipeline, involving the French project to furnish oil to Western Europe, will also be discussed by the Cabinet.

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