PARIS (Jun. 23)
French Premier Jacques Chirac and Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir discussed Monday the possibility of strengthening anti-terrorist cooperation between the two countries.
Israeli sources said Chirac and Shamir have reached broad agreement on this issue but that more talks will be needed to work out its concrete applications.
Chirac and Shamir met for close to two hours at the French Premier’s Office, Hotel Matignon. Shamir, who arrived Monday from Israel, was the French Premier’s guest at a working luncheon attended by some of Chirac’s closest aides.
Shamir is due to confer Tuesday with President Francois Mitterrand. He will also meet Foreign Minister Jean Bernard Raimond before returning to Israel Tuesday afternoon to attend a special Inner Cabinet session devoted to the security service scandal.
NEW CHAMBER OF COMMERCE INAUGURATED
Shamir inaugurated the Israel-Common Market joint Chamber of Commerce here Monday. Chirac attended the inaugural ceremony to stress his commitment to close Franco-Israeli ties. He told the meeting that his government will do its utmost “to further improve relations between the two countries.” Chirac mentioned at length the economic ties while Shamir in his address stressed the need for joint anti-terrorist action.
Israeli sources say that most of the talk between the two men dealt with this issue. The only differences concerned the recent American air strike against Libya. Shamir strongly backed the American raid while Chirac reiterated France’s reservations.
Neither side was prepared to reveal details but confirmed that there was a definite understanding of the need for joint action. The two sides refused to say what sort of action is being contemplated.
Chirac told the Israelis that he has strong hopes to obtain the release of the seven French hostages still held by Shiite extremists in Lebanon. He said he was thankful for Syria’s aid in securing the release of two hostages set free last Friday night in Beirut but expressed strong misgivings about increased Soviet influence in Syria itself and in other countries in the area.