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Franco-israel Commission to Reconvene Next Month

The Franco-Israeli Cultural and Educational Commission will reconvene next month in Jerusalem. The talks were unilaterally suspended by France last June. The French Foreign Ministry announced today that a French delegation will leave for Israel to negotiate a new cultural agreement.

Israel had bitterly protested against France’s tacit decision to “freeze” all bilateral contacts at the outbreak of the “Peace for Galilee” campaign last June. The French government first cancelled the commission’s scheduled session and later announced that it had been postponed but gave no date for reconvening.

French diplomatic sources explained today that the decision to renew the talks was taken at a “high level” apparently to defuse Israeli accusations on this subject.

The French delegation to Jerusalem will be headed by a career diplomat and will consist of representatives of various cultural and educational bodies. The commission is scheduled to work out a new Franco-Israel cultural agreement to replace one that expires at the end of the year.

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