Special Interview French Fm’s View on the Mideast
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Special Interview French Fm’s View on the Mideast

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French Foreign Minister Louis de Guiringaud said here today that “Israel’s right to existence is as important to us as the Palestinian right to a homeland.” The Foreign Minister, who is due to pay a two-day visit to Israel next week, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in an exclusive interview that in his view “circumstances in 1977 are more favorable to an Arab-Israeli settlement than ever in the past.”

De Guiringaud, who is due to meet in Israel with Premier Yitzhak Rabin, Defense Minister Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Yigal Allon, also spelled out to the JTA the international guarantee which could be envisaged within a settlement’s framework. He said “certain zones could be demilitarized and United Nations observers could be stationed there as is done in the Sinai and on the Golan. Special surveillance electronic equipment could be added as has been done in the Sinai.”

The Minister, who has often called “for international guarantees” for Israel as part of a global settlement, added that these could also consist of “moral and juridical guarantees given by certain powers as part of a peace agreement. France,” he added, “would not refuse to take part in such a project.”


De Guiringaud intimated that the Palestinians have adopted a more moderate tone at their recent National Council in Cairo. He said: “The Cairo congress did not reiterate the text in its 1974 declaration and in its 1964 charter calling for the destruction of Israel. I do not say that the PLO charter has been modified but that the Cairo communique no longer repeats this position. This shows that an evolution has taken place since 1974.”

The Minister, a former French representative to the United Nations, said he last visited Israel 12 years ago “when I spent time in the Negev, saw a number of collective villages and the Dead Sea works. I was and am full of admiration for Israel’s achievements.” He added, “I am going to Israel to hear the views of the Israeli government and to find out how the French government can maybe help in the quest for peace.”

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