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E.c. Supports Bush War Decisions, but Could Part on Postwar Focus

February 27, 1991
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

While the European Community is backing President Bush’s decision to continue the war against Iraq until Saddam Hussein’s total surrender, some of the 12 member states show signs of divergence from U.S. policy in the postwar peace negotiations.

Those countries, led by France, want to put the Israeli-Palestinian dispute at the top of the Middle East agenda.

The other Mediterranean states — Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal — have taken their cue from France. They will support America now, diverge later.

Most of these governments are anxious to mend relations with the Arab world. Moreover, they believe their desire to raise the Palestinian question as soon as possible does not run contrary to Israel’s interests and would better serve it in the long run.

French officials say that while Germany does not give the Palestinian issue the same priority and feel a special responsibility for Israel’s security, Bonn agrees nevertheless that the subject should be addressed as soon as possible.

France was the first E.C. country to announce its support for the American position Tuesday.

Foreign Minister Roland Dumas is going to Washington on Thursday for talks with Secretary of State James Baker and other administration officials on continuation of the war and the postwar situation.

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