French Foreign Minister Tells National Assembly Embargo Will Not Be Lifted

French Foreign Minister Maurice Schumann made it clear during a parliamentary debate yesterday that France has no intention whatsoever of lifting the arms embargo against Israel imposed by former President Charles deGaulle. He delivered his remarks during the first full scale foreign policy debate in the National Assembly since President Georges Pompidou was elected to succeed Gen. deGaulle. But two Gaullist deputies took issue with the government’s Mideast policy. One advised the Government to reconsider France’s pressure for Big Four talks in the area. Another urged the Government to lift the embargo on Israel because “it has not served its purpose.”

Mr. Schumann stated that France’s Mideast policy was based on the principles of self-determination, respect for international law and a balance of power in the region. He said that in view of those considerations, France continues to urge implementation of the United Nations Security Council’s Nov. 22, 1967 Mideast resolution and “will do nothing whatever which would worsen the arms race in the region.” The Foreign Minister reiterated his conviction that the only method that could eventually lead to a peace settlement is Big Four consultations. He said he thought some progress had been made toward a settlement by previous consultations. M. Schumann said France believes that any settlement must include an article providing for the internationalization of the Holy Places in Jerusalem so that they are “adequately protected and preserved with free access guaranteed to all.”

Arthur Conte, president of the influential Finance Commission, however, took a dim view of the Four Power role. He asked, “Would it not be wiser to isolate the affair rather than internationalize it?” An end to the embargo against Israel was called for by Jacques Claude Marcus who represents the City of Paris in the National Assembly. He also asked the Government to re-examine the Lebanese crisis “which seems to be maneuvered by the Soviet Union and its agents in the area.”

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