Libya Pressing France to Speed Delivery of Mirage Jets

Libya is pressing France to speed up the delivery of 110 Mirage jets and is seeking to purchase other armaments here. The Libyan Premier, Abdel Salam Jalloud, met with President Georges Pompidou for 80 minutes yesterday and also conferred with Premier Pierre Messmer and Foreign Minister Maurice Schumann. French sources said that Libya is also seeking heavy tanks of the AMX type and the “Crotal” ground-to-air missile.

Pompidou and Messmer reportedly told the Libyan Premier that France intends to enforce its Middle East arms embargo and intimated that if weapons sold to Libya turn up in the armed forces of any of the belligerents in the 1967 Six-Day War, “France would have to reconsider its stand.”

The late President Charles de Gaulle instituted the arms embargo against Israel, Egypt, Syria and Jordan, but France does not regard Libya as a belligerent in the Six-Day War. Jalloud was reportedly informed, however, that France would have to reconsider that situation should the projected federation of Libya with Egypt and Syria materialize.

Under the purchase contract the last of the Mirages are to be delivered by the end of 1974. Libya wants the date advanced to the end of 1973. Jalloud was reportedly told that the Dassault works which manufactures the Mirages cannot speed up the pace of delivery because of prior commitments and cannot expand production at this time.

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