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Washington Officials Confused About Basis for Nixon’s Message to Us Jewish Leaders

Evidence of confusion emerged in official Washington circles today over whether France’s decision to sell Mirage jets and other modern weaponry to Libya figured in President Nixon’s message to the American-Jewish leadership conference here Sunday. The President said the United States “will not hesitate to provide arms to friendly states as the need arises.” Carl Bartch, a State Department spokesman, told newsmen yesterday the Franco-Libyan arms deal was “certainly being taken into consideration” in the Administration’s assessment of Israel’s arms needs. But White House spokesman Ronald Ziegler asserted yesterday Mr. Nixon’s remarks were not linked with the new French-Libyan arms deal.