French Foreign Minister M. Jean Sauvagnargues arrived in Moscow on Thursday (11 July) to pave?
French Foreign Minister M. Jean Sauvagnargues arrived in Moscow on Thursday (11 July) to pave the way for new Franco-Soviet relations. The visit is the first by a Minister of the new French Government, and immediately after his arrival M. Sauvagnargues began talks with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Cromyko.
During his two days in the Soviet Union, the French Foreign Minister will be briefed on the recent United States-Soviet summit, and he'll also have bilateral discussions with Soviet leaders.
In a statement to journalists after his French Air Force jet touched down at Vnukovo Airport, M. Sauvagnargues stressed the visit was purely for consultative talks.
"We are not negotiating anything," he said, "we are making contact". He said Franco-Soviet relations were excellent and were likely to improve even further.
One purpose of the Foreign Minister's visit is thought to be to examine the prospects for an exchange of visits this year between French President Giscard d'Estaing and Soviet Communist party leader, Mr. Leonid Brezhnev.
SYNOPSIS: The French Foreign Minister, M. Jean Sauvagnargues, arrived at Vnukovo Airport, in Moscow, on Thursday for a two-day visit to the Soviet Union.
M. Sauvagnargues and his party were welcomed by his Soviet counterpart, Mr. Andrei Gromyko and diplomatic representatives. The meeting was the first at a high level between the French and Soviet Governments since President Giscard d'Estaing assumed office in May this year.
The talk began almost immediately after M. Sauvagnargues' arrival, and were expected to range over bilateral and international issues.
Soviet leaders were also expected to brief the French Foreign Minister on development during the recent United States-Soviet summit.
Mr. Gromyko is the official host for the visit, which also includes a State banquet. M. Sauvagnargues stressed soon after his arrival that the visit was purely consultative. He said it is designed mainly to make contact.