PARIS (Oct. 23)
France, which once promised to send troops if necessary to protect Lebanon’s security, apparently has no intention of interfering in the current crisis between Lebanon and its Arab neighbors, informed sources said today.
The most recent French assurances to Lebanon were given by former Minister of Information Georges Gorse during a visit to Beirut last spring. In January of this year, then President Charles de Gaulle warned against any action likely to endanger Lebanon’s independence and territorial integrity. He imposed a total embargo on French spare parts and military equipment to Israel because of Israel’s raid on Beirut airport in late December, 1968.
But political circles here point out that Gen. de Gaulle’s warning was aimed primarily at Israel. They said that France plans no political or military intervention to save the regime of Lebanese President Charles Helou nor has the French Government even approached the Arab states aligned against Lebanon to moderate their attitude. However, political circles here said France is in “constant contact” with the United States and Britain in order to “evaluate” the Lebanese situation.