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French Parliament Gets Report on ‘excellent’ Relations with Israel

May 6, 1965
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Relations between France and Israel were described today as “excellent and cordial” in a report submitted to the French National Assembly by three members of a French Parliamentary mission which visited Israel in 1964 at the invitation of Israel’s Parliament.

The 100-page report described Israel’s political, economic and social situation with special attention to Israel’s relations with France. The report said that “though France-Israeli close military cooperation and ‘brotherhood in arms’ which reigned during the Sinai campaign” of 1956 “now has been concluded, relations between the two countries remain cordial and excellent.” One of the three signatories was Gaullist Deputy Robert Vendroux, President de Gaulle’s brother-in-law.

Charles Helou, President of Lebanon, arrived in Paris today for three days of talks with President Charles de Gaulle which will include the controversy over Arab plans to divert the headwaters of the Jordan River to deny its waters to Israel for irrigation purposes. Lebanon is one of the riparian countries in which the diversion project is underway.

The arrival of the Lebanese President was preceded by press reports in Beirut and Paris that he might ask President de Gaulle’s mediation on the issue. The Tunisian weekly, Jeune Afrique, asserted that President de Gaulle had already prepared a mediation plan which would provide for French financial participation in a remodeling of the plan proposed by the late Eric Johnston, as President Eisenhower’s special envoy, for Israel-Arab sharing of the Jordan River waters. The plan was accepted by both sides at the technical level but rejected by the Arabs at the political level.

French sources disclaimed any knowledge of these proposals but it appeared certain that Gen. de Gaulle would appeal to President Helou for moderation in the Jordan River quarrel. French officials admit openly that an armed clash between Israel and the Arabs would be a serious setback for French foreign policy which seeks good relations with both sides.

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