PARIS (Jul. 8)
Israel will be fully briefed on the talks President Francois Mitterrand will have with King Hussein of Jordan and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt this week, official sources here said today.
Mitterrand will leave tomorrow for Amman to meet with Hussein and then to Cairo for a meeting with Mubarak. The sources stressed however that these high level contacts do not mean that France plans a diplomatic initiative in the Middle East.
“Israel will be fully informed of everything which will be said in Jordan and Egypt,” the sources said. Foreign Minister Claude Cheysson will fly to Israel immediately after Mitterrand’s trip to brief the Jerusalem government on the gist of Mitterrand’s talks with the Arab leaders.
Cheysson is due in Israel Wednesday and will meet immediately with Premier Yitzhak Shamir. The sources said Cheysson also plans to discuss the situation in south Lebanon with the Israelis and to call for an Israeli withdrawal. He will meet with Shimon Peres, chairman of the opposition Labor Party before leaving Thursday for Beirut and Damascus.
Mubarak has been “personally close” to Mitterrand and Hussein has met with the French President several times in the past year. Both have apparently counted on France to launch a new European Middle East peace initiative but Mitterrand has held back to avoid jeopardizing improved Franco-Israeli relations, sources here said.
They stressed that despite Jordan’s urging, Mitterrand refuses to meet with Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat during his visit to Amman.”This administration will do nothing which might harm the newly established Franco-Israeli dialougue and ties of confidence,” an official spokesman here said today.