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The World

January 03, 1988

A pro-Arab French lobbyist arrived in Lebanon for a reported meeting with representatives of Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal to negotiate freedom for two captive French girls. The Abu Nidal group apparently invited Lucien Bitterlin, head of Franco-Arab Solidarity, to play a role in the release of the girls, Virginie, 5, and Marie-Laure, 6, kidnaped with their mother, Jacqueline Valente, and five Belgians two months ago from the yacht Silko. Last week, in a statement delivered to Western news agencies in Beirut, the kidnapers said they would soon release the two girls to their father, Pascal Betille, in France. The parents are estranged.

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