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Retiring Envoy Calls for Stronger Ties Between France and Israel

The ambassador who has represented France in this country for the past seven years believes that there has been no deterioration in French-Israel relations but that there should be “still stronger ties in all fields–political, military, economic and cultural – until our two nations are inseparably in one camp.”

The envoy, Pierre Gilbert, spoke at a farewell dinner tendered in his honor by Foreign Minister Golda Meir and attended by Premier Ben-Gurion, many members of the Cabinet and senior Government officials. In a fluent Hebrew he acquired during his tour of duty here, M. Gilbert termed his seven years in Israel “the happiest years of my life.” In an apparent reference to the recent Renault development, the ambassador noted that clouds sometimes appear in a blue sky, “but that is no reason to believe storms are coming.”

Mrs. Meir paid warm tribute to M. Gilbert and to his role in establishing the close ties between Israel and France.

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