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Arab Capitals Are ‘moderately Pleased’ by Election of Pompidou

The Christian Science Monitor reported from Beirut today that Arab capitals “appear moderately pleased.” by the election of M. Pompidou as President. The Monitor quoted the independent Beirut newspaper, Al Jarida, as saying that while M. Pompidou was not another de Gaulle, the European leader most widely admired in the Arab world, “he is better than the other candidates.”

The Beirut paper said that whatever changes the new President may introduce in French policy toward Israel, “he cannot give up our friendship or support for the basis of our (Arab) cause.”

Cairo radio stressed that M. Pompidou had carried out Gaullist policies when he served as Premier under former President de Gaulle. According to the Monitor report. “Arab interest in Mr. Pompidou’s Mideast policy centers on his attitude toward French military aid to Arab countries and continuation of a total arms embargo imposed on Israel after the Israeli raid on Beirut airport last December.” The paper said that “some Arab commentators have privately noted that Mr. Pompidou was in the early 1950s a director of the Rothschild bank in Paris. But this has not become a public issue in Arab news media.”

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