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Paris Welcomes Hostage Liberated in Lebanon
[Home Edition]
Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Author: Meisler, Stanley
Date: Dec 26, 1986
Start Page: 5
Section: 1; Foreign Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

[Jacques Chirac]'s catalogue of gratitude conspicuously omitted the government of Iran, even though most analysts in Paris believe that France's attempts to placate and repair relations with Iran during 1986 largely accounted for the release of Cornea and four other hostages in the last six months.

[Aurel Cornea], who showed up fully bearded at the Beau Rivage Hotel in Muslim West Beirut after his captors released him on Christmas Eve, arrived in Paris clean-shaven. He told the national television audience that a French gendarme at the French embassy in Beirut had shaved him at midnight as a Christmas gift.

Since Chirac took over as prime minister last march, the French government-a heavy supplier of arms to Iraq in its war with Iran-has tried to smooth its relations with Iran, first by expelling an exiled Iranian opposition leader from France and then by negotiating at least partial repayment of a $1-billion loan made to France by the late Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi of Iran before he was deposed.

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