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Pro-plo Hardliner Appointed New French Foreign Minister

Raymond Barre, who last Wednesday became the new Premier, replacing Jacques Chirac, announced the appointment. Friday night of Louis de Guiringaud as France’s new Foreign Minister. The 64-year-old veteran diplomat’s appointment is regarded here as confirmation that hostility to Israel and support for the Arabs remain the keynote of French foreign policy.

De Guiringaud has been a stalwart supporter of a role for the Palestine Liberation Organization in world forums during the two-and-a-half years he has headed the French delegation to the United Nations. During his 40-year career, which included service in Algeria, Japan and Turkey, he developed strong personal sympathies for the developing countries of the “Third World”

In view of this, de Guiringaud was an ideal choice for President Valery Giscard d’Estaing when he was picked to preside over the preparatory conference for the “north-south” dialogue between the world’s major consuming countries and those which produce its oil and other raw materials. De Guiringaud replaced Jean Sauvagnargues who stirred anger in Israel with a notorious handshake with PLO chief Yaser Arafat in Beirut two years ago.

Sauvagnargues, who is suffering from ill health, made a poor personal impression in Israel last year on a visit as the first French foreign minister to travel to the Jewish State since Charles de Gaulle came to power in 1930. De Guiringaud has a reputation as a relentless, patient negotiator with an excellent memory and grasp of diplomatic affairs. The new government includes Simone Veil, who is Jewish, as Health Minister, a post she held in the previous Chirac government.

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