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Six-Day War: Statement by the Council of Ministers
of France on the Middle East

(June 2, 1967)

On 24 May 1967 President de Gaulle proposed a conference of the four Great Powers to resolve the crisis in the Middle East. But the response of the Powers was lukewarm and the Soviet Union later rejected the idea. In his meeting with Foreign Minister Eban, de Gaulle asked that Israel do not initiate hostilities and warned that France would not help that country that would be the first to resort to arms. The following statement was issued at the conclusion of the French Cabinet session presided over by President de Gaulle.

France is not pledged in any way, or in any respect, to any of the States concerned. On her own initiative, she considers that each of these States has the right to live. But she deems that the worst would be the opening of hostilities. Consequently, the State that would be the first - wherever it might be - to take up arms will not have either her approval and even less her support.

In the event that the present situation of expectancy could be maintained and, as a consequence, a détente in fact would result, the problems caused by navigation in the Gulf of Aqaba, the situation of the Palestinian refugees and the conditions of proximity of the interested States should be regulated in substance by international decisions, such decisions having previously given rise to an entente between the Four Powers which are permanent members of the Security Council. France maintains the proposal she made in this respect.

Source: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs