WASHINGTON (Jan. 14)
Rep. Bertram L. Podell, New York Democrat, will leave for Paris Thursday to discuss with French Government officials “the massive supply of arms to the Arab states” by France. Rep. Podell told the JTA that arrangements had been made for him to meet with French officials on a ministerial level to discuss the controversial issue prior to the visit to Washington next month of President Georges Pompidou of France. Rep. Podell may be joined in Paris by two of his congressional associates who share his concern over French supply of arms to the Arab states while France continues to embargo arms shipments to Israel including the 50 Mirage supersonic jets which Israel has already paid for.
Meanwhile, the French Defense Ministry, which has vehemently denied that it was negotiating the sale of supersonic Mirage jets to Iraq, actually demonstrated the aircraft to a visiting Iraqi military mission last month, informed sources said today. According to the sources, the Iraqi mission, headed by a general, was shown the super-secret F-1 model, the latest version of the Mirage, at a fighter-bomber base at Istres. The planes were flight demonstrated by crack French Air Force pilots, the sources said. The F-1 is a high performance, all weather plane which Israel was interested in before then President Charles de Gaulle imposed his embargo in June, 1967.