GINOSSAR (Nov. 3)
“Despite the differences of outlook, this was an important exchange of views at the ministerial level,” Foreign Minister Yigal Allon summed up yesterday the three-day official visit to Israel of his French counterpart, Jean Sauvagnargues. The French Foreign Minister and his wife left Israel midday. There was no formal departure ceremony at the airport because of the Sabbath. The visitors spent Friday and yesterday with the Allons at their Galilee kibbutz of Ginossar, taking a late-night boat trip on the lake and touring the farm.
Speaking to newsmen after the visit, Allon said “France and the French people will have to take account of what was said at these talks here if they want to play a role in promoting political settlement in the region. He confirmed that he had accepted Sauvagnargues’ invitation to visit Paris.
Political observers here agreed that the visit, though it had produced no narrowing of the gap between Israel and France, had nevertheless been useful. inasmuch as the French Minister and nib aides had heard an authoritative and forceful presentation of the Israeli case from the nation’s leaders. Although France’s current interpretation of its Interests dictates a hostile policy. Israeli observers hope that, with time, the appraisal and the policy may change–and thus see last week’s visit as useful in the long term.
The theme of the political talks between the two Foreign Ministers centered on France’s belief that Israel must ultimately negotiate with the Palestine Liberation Organizations–and Israel’s determined rejection of this notion.