Eban to Avoid Paris Unless He Receives Official Invitation

Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban will spend several days in France in October, but according to current plans will carefully avoid this capital city. On Oct. 4, Eban is scheduled to address the Council of Europe Meeting in Strasbourg during its general debate on the Middle East. The Council serves as a sort of European Parliament with an advisory voice. Eban will probably drive straight to Strasbourg from Basel. Switzerland. These plans, Israeli circles here explain, could be changed if the French government decided to use the opportunity of Eban’s visit to invite him here for a meeting with his French counterpart, Maurice Schumann. It is generally believed here that should such an invitation be extended, Eban will switch his route and come to Paris. Schumann has said he will meet Eban at the airport anytime, but Israel insists on an official invitation. Schumann is the only Foreign Minister of a major European country not to have yet issued such an invitation. Mean while, a Knesset delegation led by Speaker Reuvan Barkatt is due here Aug. 30 to attend the interparliamentary conference scheduled for Sept. 4-9. Political circles here expect the Israeli group to take advantage of its stay to expand contacts with French colleagues.

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