Saudi-French venture turns down contract to supply US forces in Iraq
Popular opposition in Saudi Arabia to the US-led invasion of neighboring Iraq has clearly been underestimated by the Bush administration. In the kingdom where all public demonstrations are prohibited, more and more Saudi firms opt to express their resentment by turning down lucrative contracts to supply and support coalition troops fighting in Iraq.
The latest to reject such an offer was Saudi dairy giant Al-Safi Danone, who announced Saturday, April 5, that it would not support the war in any way. The value of the potential contract to supply provisions to the coalition forces was unspecified.
Last week, a Saudi firm providing transport services in the Northern part of the kingdom turned down a 240.5 million Saudi riyal ($64 million) contract offered by the US army, to provide the coalition forces operating in Iraq with 1,300 trucks.
The unidentified company, based in Hafer Al-Batin, a Saudi town close to both the Iraqi and Kuwaiti borders, was reportedly loath to supply US and British troops with vehicles to transport weapons and machinery into Iraq.
Al-Safi group of companies, which operates the largest integrated dairy farms in the world, with two neighboring farms covering more than 7,500 hectares altogether and 32,000 cows. A subsidiary of Al-Faisaliah Group, the 16th largest group in Saudi Arabia, Al-Safi merged with the French dairy giant Danone in 2000. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)