France and Israel Decide to Set Up Joint Body to Plan Cooperation

France and Israel have decided to set up a France-Israeli committee to map plans for scientific cooperation between the two nations in oceanography, arid zone research and solar energy study, it was disclosed today.

The decision was reached yesterday during a meeting between Premier Levi Eshkol, nearing the end of a 12-day visit to France, and Gaston Palewski, French Minister for Science and Nuclear Development. The two agreed that a ten-man committee of five Frenchmen and five Israel should be set up “at the earliest.” Some delay may be caused by the absence from France of French Foreign Minister Maurice Couve de Murville, who is currently on an official visit with Premier Georges Pompidou to Sweden.

The formal decision rests with the French Foreign Minister. A similar delay, stemming from his absence, may affect plans for a formal French declaration of intentions concerning Franco-Israeli scientific cooperation. Current plans call for cooperation both initial research and in implementation of techniques in the three fields. M. Palewski told the Israeli Premier that “such scientific cooperation would not only be in line with traditional Franco-Israel friendship but it would also be to our mutual benefits.” if everything goes according to plan, the ten experts would start to hold meetings to map joint programs in these fields next autumn.

The Premier continued his visits to industrial centers today, visiting the French aircraft company plant, Sud Aviation, where the warplanes which equip Israel’s Air Force are produced. The Premier flew to Bordeau, site of the plant, with Deputy Defense Minister Shimon Peres, Admiral Mordehai Limon, Defense Ministry representative in Europe, and other aides. Sud Aviation, owned and managed by Marcel Bloch Dassault, a Jewish engineer, produces the famous Mystere, Mirage and Vautor jet fighters and bombers.

The Premier also visited Peau, site of the aircraft plant which produces the Fouga Magister jet training plane used in the Israel Air Force, It is owned by J. Midlovsky, a French Jew of Polish origin, who has built it into one of the largest industrial concerns in France. He has consistently refused to sell his planes to Arab governments.

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