A crowded press conference in Tunis June 20 heard Ferhat Abbas, leader of the "provisional government of Algeria" in exile, say he had accepted President de Gaulle's offer of peace talks.
SV. Abbaseenters room, press assembled.
SV. Abbas stands with Krim Belkacem.
CU. Abbes PAN to Krim Belkacem.
SV. Pressmen PAN to Abbas reading.
CU. Abbas holds paper..TILT UP to him speaking.
CU. Krim Belkacem.
SV. Abbas speaks, on left Krim Belkacem and right Ben Tobbal.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A crowded press conference in Tunis June 20 heard Ferhat Abbas, leader of the "provisional government of Algeria" in exile, say he had accepted President de Gaulle's offer of peace talks.
The offer was made in a radio and television broadcast June 14 for a settlement of the Algerian rebellion now in its fifth year.
In a statement to the press, M.Abbas said he would lead a delegation to Paris. He gave no date but said an envoy would go to Paris first to make arrangements for a parley.
Later in a radio address, M.Abbas said his delegation would not be satisfied with a cease-fire only. "We hope to convince the French Government of the legitimacy of our struggle for independence." he said. "Our Algerian liberation army will fight on until independence is achieved.
Right-wing Frenchmen in Algeria and in Paris belonging to the French Algerian Movement - they include Jacques Soustelle, George Bidault and Robert Lacoste - in a statement at a rally June 20 regarded the General's renewed offer to negotiate as "tantamount to France's surrender of Algeria to Algerian criminals responsible for murder and massacre."
With Ferhat Abbas at the press conference were Krim Belkacem "Foreign Minister", and Lekhdar Ben Tobbal, "Information Minister.
The French Government recognise Ferhat Abbas as the leader of the Algerian rebels (FLN) but officially ignore the existence of the "marginal government in Algeria" in exile in Tunis.