"I do not know the details of the method used by the Americans to obtain liberation of the hostage," said [Jean-Bernard Raimond], who has been forced to deny for days that France was negotiating with Syria to prevent a new outbreak of terrorism in Paris and with Iran to obtain release of six French hostages in Lebanon.
In Paris, Raimond repeated his government's denial of French and American news stories that have described France as contemplating the sale of arms to Syria. He said he was certain the stories surfaced because some French arms manufacturers had submitted a proposal for such a sale to the French cabinet committee. But, he said, the proposal was rejected.
Although France had been criticized for not supporting Britain fully in London's request for a united European stand against Syria, Raimond said France had been "in solidarity with Great Britain since the beginning." He said that Britain's evidence about the involvement of Syrian intelligence in an attempt to bomb an Israeli airliner was "sufficiently convincing" and thus France envisioned no problem in reaching full agreement with Britain at a European Communities meeting on terrorism in London on Monday.