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U.S. Makes Protest Official

State Department spokesman Robert Funseth said today that France’s release of Palestinian terrorist Abu Daoud “isn’t going to stop our efforts before the international community to present proposals to urge compliance in dealing firmly and sternly with terrorists.” He also disclosed that the U.S. had conveyed an official reaction to France which was “the reaction that we stated publicly.”

That reaction, given at yesterday’s press briefing, was an expression of “dismay” that “through a legal technicality” Daoud had avoided interrogation by either Israel or West Germany on his role in the 1972 Munich massacre. Funseth said today that the U.S. did not give the French government any advice prior to the release of Daoud and remarked that it was “a decision for the French courts to make.”

Asked if there was any U.S. reaction to the fact that Daoud was not arrested when he arrived in Algeria yesterday. Funseth said “Our position that all governments should take stern action against terrorists remains.” He also said, in reply to a question, that the Daoud episode has not changed the U.S. position on the Palestinians. “We believe the legitimate interests of the Palestinians must be taken into account in any settlement.” Funseth said. However, he said, “We will not recognize or have any formal contacts with the PLO as long as they do not accept the right of Israel to exist and do not accept UN Resolutions 242 and 338.” He observed that Palestinian “interests must be part of the negotiations” between the parties. (By Helen Silver)

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