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French Political Observers Think Israel May Initiate ‘dialogue’ to Improve Relations

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French political observers indicated today they expected Israel to respond to the election of Georges Pompidou as President by seeking to initiate a “dialogue” aimed at improving Franco-Israel ties in an effort to bring them back to at least a condition of “normalcy.” if not the close friendly ties that previously existed.

The observers suggested they considered it likely that either Israeli Premier Golda Meir or Foreign Minister Abba Eban would visit Paris, probably soon after President-elect Pompidou picked his Prime Minister and his new Government began to function. The identity of the man M. Pompidou names as his Foreign Minister was expected to be a clue to the new President’s Middle East policy. If, as some reports indicated, he names the current Foreign Minister. Michel Debre, to the post for another term, it was believed this would seriously dampen Israel’s hopes for a quick improvement of Franco-Israel relations.

The prospect that Jacques Chaban Delmas, the current National Assembly president, may be named Premier, is one regarded with approval by pro-Israel circles. Though he is a loyal Gaullist, M. Chaban-Delmas did not join the anti-Israel chorus that arose when then President Charles de Gaulle accused Israel of initiating the June, 1967 war and clamped an embargo on weapons and parts shipments to Israel, which is still in effect. The Assembly president has steadfastly refused to make any public statement on the embargo but he has privately assured Israeli diplomats here that he wishes France had adopted a “more neutral and objective attitude,” the observers asserted.

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