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Pompidou, Ben Natan Confer Total Blackout on Discussion

President Georges Pompidou and Israeli Ambassador Ben Natan conferred for over an hour this evening in an attempt to break the deadlock in Franco-Israeli negotiations over reimbursement for 50 embargoed Israeli Mirage V jets. The Israeli envoy had no comment for newsmen as he left the Elysee Palace. Questioned later by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, he declined to say whether he was optimistic or pessimistic over the outcome of the negotiations.

A complete blackout prevailed on the subjects discussed by Pompidou and Ben Natan. They are believed to have covered the Middle East crisis and other areas of mutual interest in addition to the Mirages. It was learned that despite the length of their meeting, the matter of Israel’s status in the European Common Market was not raised due to “lack of time.” Prior to the meeting, that subject was said to have been on the agenda. The lack of any news emanating from the meeting indicated to some observers here that no tangible result were achieved and that Pompidou probably gave non-committal replies.

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