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Mitterrand, Israel’s Envoy Meet to Review Middle East Situation

President Francois Mitterrand conferred here this evening for close to 90 minutes with Israel’s Ambassador Meir Rosenne, the first top-level contact since France’s change of regime. Rosenne said after the meeting that it had been

“friendly and warm” but refused to reveal details of the subjects discussed.

French sources believe the two men reviewed the overall situation in the Middle East in the light of the statements made by French Foreign Minister Claude Cheysson during his recent trip to three Arab countries and his meeting last Sunday with Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasir Arafat in Beirut.

Israel had indicated that it strongly disapproved of Cheysson’s meeting with Arafat and it is believed that the Ambassador reiterated the view that such meetings, which can only increase the PLO’s international prestige, are to be regretted and that the Cheysson-Arafat meeting, which took place just 24 hours after the terrorist assault on a synagogue in Vienna, was even more regrettable.

The President stressed that his friendship for Israel is unchanged and confirmed that he will continue to apply the same basic principles which he outlined before his election, last May. These included the promise to pay an official visit to Israel.

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