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Libyan Official’s Visit to Paris May Be Linked to Disclosure That Mirage Jets Were Used in Oct. War

Libyan Prime Minister Abdel Salam Jalloud arrived here late this morning on an unannounced visit. The object of his visit is not known. French radio described the Libyan leader’s visit as “private” and said “no political conferences were expected.”

There is speculation, however, that Jalloud’s surprise appearance here (he arrived at the Paris airport under a false name), might be connected with the recent revelation by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat that French-built Libyan Mirage fighter jets participated in the fighting in the Yom Kippur War.

Sadat’s disclosure made it clear that Libya had broken its agreement that the Mirages it purchased from France would not reach the Mideast battlefield. The disclosure caused great embarrassment to France which had consistently denied that the Mirages were participating in the fighting despite Israeli allegations to the contrary.

It further lead the French government to consider lifting its self-imposed embargo on arms sales to the four Mideast belligerents–Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Israel. Such a decision, if taken, would more than likely favor the Arabs and France rather than Israel.