Arabs restore boycott of companies dealing with Israel
An Arab League body reinstated Thursday October 11 an indirect boycott of Israel by blacklisting more than 10 foreign companies that deal with the Jewish state. The Office for the Boycott of Israel (OBI) "examined the situation of companies that have established relations with Israel and recommended that they be totally or partially boycotted depending on the situation of each."
Delegates at a four-day meeting of the Damascus-based organization, asking not to be identified, said that between 10 and 20 companies had been put on a blacklist, although a statement issued at the end of the forum gave no names.
Ahmad Khazaa, the OBI commissioner general, said only that European, US and Hong Kong companies were on the list. The executive office for the Arab boycott of Israel met this week for the first time since 1993 to reactivate an embargo in response to the Jewish state's attacks on the Palestinians. Delegates from 19 of the 22 Arab League members attended the meeting.
Egypt and Jordan did not take part because of the peace treaties they have signed with Israel, while Mauritania refrains from attending the OBI as it maintains diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. The Arab League set up the OBI on May 19, 1951.
After the 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait and launch of the US-brokered Middle East peace process, most Arab states bowed to US pressure and lifted the indirect boycott. The OBI is to hold its next meeting in April 2002, also in Damascus. — (AFP, Damascus)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)