Syria to urge Arabs to reactivate Israeli boycott

Published March 25th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Syria is expected to formally urge next week's Arab summit to reactivate the Arab boycott of Israel, delegates at a preparatory meeting of Arab foreign ministers told AFP Saturday, March 24. 

 

The ministers were set to open later Saturday two days of talks to finalize the agenda of the two-day ordinary summit that begins Tuesday and which is set to be dominated by the Palestinian uprising against Israel and relations with Iraq. 

 

But it was not clear if Egypt and Jordan, the only two Arab countries to have peace treaties with Israel, will agree to endorse the Syrian proposal, which violates the terms of their agreements with the Jewish state. 

 

"It depends if this issue will be included on the agenda," Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Mussa told AFP in reply to a question. In past Arab forums, Jordan and Egypt have steadfastly championed non-binding resolutions leaving it up to each Arab country to adopt their policies towards Israel. 

 

The Syrian proposal would urge Arab countries to boycott Israeli companies and foreign firms doing business with Israel. 

 

Damascus is the headquarters of the Arab League's Central Office for the Boycott of Israel, which has been ineffective for the past decade and has not even met on the executive pan-Arab level since April 1993 for lack of a quorum. 

 

Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail told AFP Khartoum would undoubtedly back a Syrian proposal to reactivate the boycott of Israel. "Yes, we back a proposal to reactivate the boycott in order to force Israel to resume the peace process, and we support the idea that the summit should make this one of its resolutions," Ismail said. 

 

Syrian Foreign Minister Faruq Al-Shara refused to comment. The summit is also set to discuss ways to bolster inter-Arab trade and plans to merge Arab infrastructures. — (AFP, Amman) 

 

© Agence France Presse 2001

© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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