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Mitterrand, in Moscow, backs US missiles abroad

President Francois Mitterrand told Soviet leader Konstantin Chernenko Thursday that France stood firm in its support for new US missiles in Europe and had a right to take up the case of dissident Andrei Sakharov.

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But both Soviet and French spokesmen, reporting on a first meeting between the two leaders, indicated the French President had avoided any clash on issues of East-West dispute.

Mitterrand arrived Wednesday for the first visit by a major Western leader since Mr. Chernenko took office in February. His aides said he planned to speak bluntly.

President Mitterrand's backing for the missiles, none of which are based in France, has irritated the Kremlin.

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