Israel Envoy Confers with French; Paris Press Backs Israel’s Position

An official of the Israel Embassy in Paris met today with officials of the Middle East Division of the French Foreign Ministry, and informed them of the latest developments on Israel’s tense northern border with Syria, and on the reasons for asking an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the latest outbreak of fighting there. France is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council.

Neither the Israeli Embassy nor the French Foreign Office would comment on the report by Israeli Minister Zeev Shek to the French officials. France traditionally refrains from making its position known on such incidents until study of reports from United Nations observers on the scene. The Israeli diplomat also conferred with Michael S, Comay, permanent head of the Israeli mission at the United Nations, who stopped off in Paris on his way to New York for the Security Council meeting.

Despite the official silence, both French public opinion and information media demonstrated solidarity with Israel. The French newspapers have given prominent display to the news of the Syrian-Israel border incidents, invariably presenting Israel as the victim and Syria as the aggressor.

France-Soir, the mass circulation daily, devoted an entire page to the recent incidents, calling Israel’s appeal to the Security Council “a moderate step.” Other daily newspapers saw in Israel’s bid to the UN an effort to exhaust all peaceful means before “answering in kind to Syria’s aggression. “

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