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Gideon Rafael, Israel Foreign Ministry Director-general, Confers with Paris Equal

Gideon Rafael, director-general of the Israel Foreign Ministry, met with his French counterpart, Herve Alphand, secretary-general of the French Foreign Ministry, here today. Observers noted that it was the first high level meeting between Israeli and French diplomats since November, 1967. It is believed to mark the resumption of the Franco-Israeli “dialogue” which was interrupted when the de Gaulle Government imposed an arms embargo on Israel following the June, 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Mr. Rafael will return to Israel tomorrow.

In a related development, the secretary-general of the Arab League said in an interview published today that he was confident “Franco-Arab relations will remain unchanged despite the departure of President Charles de Gaulle” from political power. Abdul Halak Hasouna told the newspaper Le Monde that he saw Franco-Arab relations expanding in the fields of trade, culture and political contacts under the new French President, Georges Pompidou.