Syrian Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister Abdel Halim Khaddam told reports during his official two-day visit to France that Syria was 'satisfied' with French policy on the Middle East.
GV EXTERIOR: French Prime Minister Raymond Barre's official residence, Paris, France. (natural sound)
SV PAN: Syrian Vice-Premier Abdel Halim Khaddam (centre) and party entering residence. (natural)
SV INTERIOR: Khaddam and others with Barre. (mute)
CU EXTERIOR: Syrian flag on car. (natural)
SV: Barre and Khaddam shaking hands at entrance, and Khaddam speaking to reporters (in Arabic)
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Background: Syrian Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister Abdel Halim Khaddam told reports during his official two-day visit to France that Syria was 'satisfied' with French policy on the Middle East. His visit, which ended on Saturday (2 July), followed a call by France and its European Common Market partners for the creation of a Palestinian homeland.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Khaddam called on French Prime Minister Raymond Barre on Friday (1 July) for official talks. The Common Market call for an independent Palestine came two days earlier at the end of its summit conference in London. The meeting in the British capital produced a joint affirmation by the nine members of the Community in their belief that a lasting Middle East peace would have to take into account such a need. Mr. Khaddam, saying that Syria was satisfied with France's attitude on the issue, was also carrying a personal message from Syrian President Hafez al Assad on the Middle East situation.
Following his call on Monsieur Barre, Mr. Khaddam spoke to reporters.
At a news conference, he also said the policies of the United States and the Common Market countries were now closely aligned, but that the Americans were still 'lagging behind' the Europeans in that field. He said he hoped the Europeans would follow up their London declaration with more vigorous and practical actions leading to the implementation of the United Nations' resolutions on the Middle East and the Palestinian question.
Mr. Khaddam, who went on to the Elysee Palace for talks with French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing, afterwards made a blunt attack on Israeli policy concerning a final settlement. Israel, he said, was systematically obstructing all peace moves. But, he added, everyone knew that the Arabs could not yield, one way or another, one inch of the occupied Arab territories.
Mr. Khaddam also called on French Foreign Minister Louis de Guiringaud before leaving.