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France fosters balance with Canada, Quebec

French Prime Minister Pierre Mauroy held talks with nationalist Quebec Premier Rene Levesque, continuing a skillful balancing act between Canada and its French-speaking province. In speeches in Quebec and Ottawa, Mr. Mauroy stressed that France wanted to boost its ties with Canada, especially in trade, but would also nurture its ''privileged relationship'' with Quebec.

Ties between France and Canada have been strained since French President Charles de Gaulle addressed a Montreal gathering in 1967 with a cry of ''Vive le Quebec libre (Hail, free Quebec).'' But Mr. Mauroy's talks in Ottawa with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau dissipated any remaining strain, and both men said the Gaullist legacy in bilateral relations had ended.

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