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The World

May 23, 1986

French Premier Jacques Chirac announced support of President Reagan's "Star Wars" space-based defense system, saying that France cannot be left behind in the "inevitable, irreversible and justified" program. The endorsement by the conservative premier contrasts sharply with the stance of Socialist President Francois Mitterrand, who has taken a negative view of the Strategic Defense Initiative, the formal name for the U.S. research program. Under the current arrangement, Chirac and Mitterrand share broad responsibility for foreign affairs and defense.

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