Schumann, Ben-nathan Confer on Mideast; France Favors Big Four Guarantee in Mideast

French Foreign Minister Maurice Schumann and Israel’s ambassador to France Asher Ben-Nathan, met this morning for 45 minutes to review the Middle East situation. The meeting, which was held at Schumann’s request, was also attended by the Secretary General of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Herve Alphand. It was understood that the two main subjects discussed were the current peace talks under the auspices of United Nations special Mideast mediator Gunnar V. Jarring and the reported current Egyptian plan for stationing a peace keeping patrol belonging to the Big Four as a “guarantee for a lasting peace.” Since last week’s visit to Paris of the Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mahmoud Riad, the French officials appear to be convinced that the solution to the current crisis lies with the establishing of this “peace keeping force.” It was also understood that Schumann today raised once again, as the French ambassador in Israel, Francois Hure, had done yesterday in his meeting with Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban, the question of a four power “implemented” guarantee. Israel’s position on this matter, which was made clear yesterday in Jerusalem and today in Paris, is that such a guarantee, if implemented, can come as an addition to a peace treaty and not as a substitute. As to the Jarring talks, both sides reportedly agreed that they are the best possible path to a settlement and must be encouraged by all available means.

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