WASHINGTON — The Washington Times published in today's editions a full transcript of its interview with French Minister of External Affairs Jacques Chirac after Chirac denied saying West German officials believed Israeli intelligence was involved in the attempted bombing of an El Al airliner.
In its transcript, the Times quoted Chirac as saying of the plot to smuggle a bomb aboard the airliner at London's Heathrow Airport:
"I spoke to both (West German Chancellor Helmut) Kohl and (Foreign Minister) Hans-Dietrich Genscher about it. I don't go as far as they do, but their thesis is that the Hindawi plot was a provocation designed to embarrass Syria and destabilize the (Hafed) Assad regime (in Syria)." Britain broke diplomatic relations with Syria after Nezar Hindawi, a Jordanian, was convicted and sentenced to 45 years in prison for the April 17 attempt to smuggle a bomb aboard the airliner.
Chirac, according to the transcript, added: "Who was behind it? Probably people connected with the Israeli Mossad (secret service) in conjunction with certain Syrian elements close to Assad who seek his overthrow. Things of this nature can be infinitely complex."