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French President Says Mideast Peace Includes Palestinian Accord

French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing told a Cabinet meeting today that peace and security in the Middle East are possible only if an accord includes settlement of the Palestinian problem. He added that the purpose of Foreign Minister Jean Sauvagnargues’ Middle East trip was to emphasize France’s position on this matter. Sauvagnargues, who returned from the Middle East yesterday, spoke of the warm welcome he had received, particularly in Lebanon.

As for his talk with Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat, the Foreign Minister restated France’s position, according to a government spokesman. “The fact of Palestine exists.” declared the Foreign Minister. “The Palestinian problem will not go away by not recognizing the facts.” But he added that France had not changed its position that Israel must be assured of “definite and recognized boundaries.”

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