TUNISIA: The Tightrope Walker

Talking over the dispute between France and Tunis with a covey of senior Tunisian government officials one day last week, U.S. Ambassador Robert Murphy found that the conversation had turned to the Algerian war. Gently Murphy suggested that the conference get back to the subject it was supposed to be discussing: Tunisian demands for the evacuation of all French military bases in Tunisia.

"Very well, sir," agreed Tunisia's Foreign Minister Sadok Mokkadem. "From now on we won't talk about Algeria at all, unless you raise the matter yourself." Ten minutes later the conversation was once again back on Algeria.

Murphy's inability...

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