New French Government Seen Lending Itself to Re-opened ‘dialogue’ Sought by Israel

The composition of the new French Government, announced by President Georges Pompidou yesterday, indicates that Israel will not have too much trouble re-opening its desired “dialogue” with France in an effort to steer French Middle East policy away from the pro-Arab stance adopted by former President Charles de Gaulle. This is the consensus of observers here who say that President Pompidou’s Cabinet appointments demonstrate that he has successfully resisted pressure from orthodox Gaullists.

The new French Foreign Minister, Maurice Shumann, a European-minded internationalist, and Leo Hamon, Secretary of State in the Premier’s office, are known to be friendly toward Israel. Such hard-line Gaullists as former Premier Maurice Couve de Murville, former Education Minister Edgar Faure and former Defense Minister Pierre Messmer were not included in the new Government. All had approved Gen. de Gaulle’s Mideast policies. Former Foreign Minister Michel Debre, regarded as less than friendly toward Israel, was removed from that post, reportedly against his will, and installed as Defense Minister, succeeding M. Messmer.

Observers here said that M. Schumann is not expected to be a “strong” Foreign Minister and that President Pompidou himself will make France’s foreign policy. But his appointment of Mr. Schumann indicated that it will be far more liberal and flexible than the policies of former President de Gaulle, observers said.

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