French Foreign Minister Jean Sauvagnargues continued his round of Middle East talks when he held a series of discussions with Israeli leaders in Tel Aviv on Thursday (31 October).
GV & CU EXTERIOR & Sign Knesset building (2 shots)
MV PAN Car arrives; Sauvagnargues out of car, greeted, and into Kensset (2 shots)
GVs INTERIOR Prime Minister's Office, Sauvagnargues sitting across table to Rabin (3 shots)
GV & CU EXTERIOR and sign President's Residence (2 shots)
GV ZOOM INTO SV & CU French Ambassador introducing diplomate (2 shots)
Initials BB/1845 EW/DW/BB/1856
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: French Foreign Minister Jean Sauvagnargues continued his round of Middle East talks when he held a series of discussions with Israeli leaders in Tel Aviv on Thursday (31 October).
The French Minister spent an hour in official talks with Israel's Premier, Yitzhak Rabin, and two lengthier working sessions with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yigal Allon.
He later paid a courtesy call o n President Ephraim Katzir at the Presidential Residence. Officials later described the talks as frank and good, but said there was no sign they would help bridge the deep rifts between the two countries.
Mr. Sauvagnargues' visit is the first official one by a French Cabinet Minister since the Jewish state was founded in 1948. It has roused a storm of opposition within Israel over France's recent expressions of support for the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). Mr. Sauvagnargues himself has been criticised by leading Israelis and in the Israeli press over his meeting with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat in Beirut earlier in the month.
The French Minister's arrival in Tel Aviv was preceded by a lengthy debate in the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, when the opposition called for the cancellation of his trip. The demand was rejected by Mr. Allon on the grounds that Israel maintains relations with states whose policies are less acceptable to Israel.
But at a dinner given in Mr. Sauvagnargues' honour, the Israeli Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister called on France to change its Middle East policies and support the moderate force prepared to negotiate a political settlement for the region.
SYNOPSIS: The Knesset building in Tel Aviv ... scene of a stormy debate over the visit of French Foreign Minister, Jean Sauvagnargues, to Israel.
The French Minister was in Israel to continue his round of Middle East talks. His recent meeting in Beirut with Palestine Liberation Organisation. Chairman Yasser Arafat had aroused intense criticism in Israel. Mr. Sauvagnargues visited the Prime Minister's Office, near the Knesset, for an hour of talks with Premier Yitzhak Rabin.
Later, the French Minister held two lengthier sessions with Israeli Deputy-Premier and Foreign Minister Yigal Allon. But officials described the talks as having little effect on French Policies in the Middle East.
Mr. Sauvagnargues then paid a courtesy call on the Israeli President, Mr. Ephraim Katzir, at his official residence. There, the French Ambassador in Israel, Mr. Francis Hure introduced the visiting Foreign Minister to the assembled diplomats ... including Israel's Ambassador to France, Mr. Asher Ben-Nathan. France's Middle East policies were again the centre of discussion.