PARIS (Jul. 10)
President Francois Mitterrand and King Hussein of Jordan today said that peace can be obtained if all participants in the Middle East conflict would agree to make mutual concessions.
Hussein called for the staging of an international peace conference on the basis of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 but the French President maintained a low profile on this issue and refrained from taking sides.
Mitterrand, who is concluding tomorrow a two-day visit to Jordan, has been trying throughout his stay in Amman to avoid giving Israel cause for concern and has stuck to his policy of maintaining good relations with both Israel and the Arab states.
He spoke about Palestinian rights and the need for a Palestinian homeland but refused to meet PLO chairman Yasir Arafat who was in Ammon till Mitterrand’s arrival. Mitterrand also refrained from calling for a PLO participation in any future talks as the Palestinian representative.
Mitterrand at a press conference this evening in Amman said the PLO must recognize Israel, as UN resolutions demand, before it can take part in any peace negotiations or hope to win international recognition.
Mitterrand is scheduled to make a techincal stopover in Cairo tomorrow where he will confer with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Both Presidents are especially concemed by the Iranian-Iraqi conflict and recent developments in Africa. Both Egypt and France support Baghdad and fear that the spread of the Iranian brand of Islam might topple Arab moderate regimes.
French Foreign Minister Claude Cheysson is scheduled to arrive in Israel tomorrow to brief Israeli leaders on Mitterrand’s talks. The French stress that this visit should be seen as proof of the privileged relations which now exist between France and Israel.