• Short Summary

    French Foreign Minister, Claude Cheysson, has unexpectedly criticised European peace initiatives in the Middle East.

  • Description

    GV Guests at banquet at King David Hotel.
    SCU Cheysson speaking to guests in French.
    SV Guests listening.
    CU Cheysson speaking in French.
    SV PAN & CU Holocaust Memorial.
    GV Cheysson at memorial.
    SV Cheysson meeting Navon. (2 SHOTS)
    CU PULL BACK CU Israeli and French flags PULL BACK TO meeting round table.
    CU Cheysson.
    GV Meeting with cameramen taking pictures.

    Background: French Foreign Minister, Claude Cheysson, has unexpectedly criticised European peace initiatives in the Middle East. He said it was not for states outside the region to dictate to countries within the Middle East. He was speaking during a visit to Jerusalem, to talk to Israeli leaders.
    It was a 24-hour visit designed, said Mr. Cheysson, to improve Franco-Israeli relations and clear up "misunderstandings". It is also being seen as a preparatory trip for President Mitterrand's tour in February.
    Shortly after his arrival, Mr. Cheysson was the guest speaker at a banquet in his honour at the King David Hotel, Jerusalem. It had been arranged by Israeli's Foreign Minister, Yitzhak Shamir.
    During his speech, Mr. Cheysson surprised his hosts by ruling out any European initiative in the Middle East. He said: "as long as the present French government remains in office, there will be no new Middle East peace initiative by the French government or the European community". He also pledged that the French government and people would stand beside the people of Israel if they were attacked. But he balanced his remarks with an implicit reference to the Palestinians. All nations had a right to sovereignty and national independence, he said, "and in this region there is a nation that lacks this".
    Later, Mr. Cheysson visited a memorial built by the Israelis in memory of the six million Jews killed in Nazi-occupied Europe during the Second World War.
    On Tuesday (8 December) he met Israel's President, Yitzhak Navon.
    Then it was a working session with Mr. Shamir at the Foreign Ministry. At this meeting, Mr. Shamir made his reply to Mr. Cheysson's implied remark about the Palestinians. He said the Palestinians already had a homeland and that was Jordan.

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    Media URN:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
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