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Ben Natan Protests Against Mirages

October 16, 1973
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The Israeli Ambassador today delivered to French Foreign Minister Michel Jobert a formal protest against the presence of Libyan Mirages in the Sinai fighting. Asher Ben Natan told a press conference here that the French military attache in Tel Aviv will be given all the necessary proof. He refused to reveal where the two Mirages shot down by Israel were and under what colors they had been flying.

The Ambassador recalled that the French government had often in the past said that should Libya break the clauses of its contract barring it from using the Mirages against Israel, “Paris would draw the necessary consequences.” Ben Natan said: “I have no reason to doubt that Paris will honor its pledge.”

He said that the Arabs are receiving a constant flow of arms flown to Syria and Egypt by Soviet TU-16 planes and that as far as it is known, these planes are manned by Russians, but do not have Soviet air protection. The Ambassador added that as far as could be ascertained, the number of Soviet technical advisors in Syria has increased since the start of the war. Ben Natan met with Jobert in order to clarify the French position after the joint declaration by the nine members of the European Economic Community on the Middle East which called Saturday for an end to the war and for the opening of negotiations based on the UN Security Council Resolution 242.

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