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France pushes for accord by Namibia freedom panel

France warned it may pull out of the group of Western nations trying to negotiate independence for Namibia (South-West Africa) if agreement on freedom for the South African-controlled territory is not reached soon. President Mitterrand delivered the warning in a speech opening a Paris meeting attended by 31 African heads of state.

Diplomats said his remarks reflect a mounting French conviction that South Africa aimed to stretch out talks indefinitely with the five-nation contact group.

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Envoys of the group - which also include the United States, West Germany, Britain, and Canada - were in South Africa and Namibia late last week for discussions on their proposals for UN-supervised moves toward independence.