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French Government’s Reaction to Attack Seen As Moderate

France’s official comment on yesterday’s Israeli attack on Egyptian positions along the Gulf of Suez was restrained compared to statements that emanated from former President Charles de Gaulle on similar occasions in the past, diplomatic observers said here today.

Government spokesman Leo Hamon said Foreign Minister Maurice Schumann reported to today’s cabinet meeting on the “worsened situation in the Middle East, emphasizing again that only a global solution can forestall grave events such as those which we are witnessing.” Observers said the cabinet’s avoidance of open condemnation of Israel was in “sharp contrast” to the angry commentaries made by French cabinets under President de Gaulle. They said the apparent moderation reflected efforts by President Georges Pompidou’s government to protect itself against charges that France was pro-Arab while professing neutrality in the Middle East conflict.

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