Story-ideas-1011172

France reiterates anti-boycott stand to Israel

  • Vanessa
JERUSALEM - French President Francois Hollande, trying to contain the fallout from the controversy over a French telecom company, in a conversation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reiterated his strong opposition to anti-Israel boycotts.
by JTA CORRESPONDENT | Jun 08, 2015

Hollande in last Sunday night’s phone conversation, also told the Israeli leader that he wanted to maintain the economic ties between France and Israel.

The conversation followed statements last week by Orange CEO Stephane Richard in Cairo that his company, which is 25 per cent owned by the French government, would end its Israeli presence if it were not contractually bound to the company, Partner. A day later the company announced that it would seek to cancel a recently signed 10-year arrangement with Partner.

Orange had not directly reached out to Partner since Richard’s Cairo remarks, the company said.

Netanyahu and Hollande reportedly also discussed the current negotiations on a nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers, including France.

Netanyahu said on Sunday, in his capacity as acting foreign minister, he had instructed the Foreign Ministry to turn down a request by Richard to meet with the Israeli envoy in France, saying he could come to Israel to set the record straight.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said last week Friday that France opposed boycotts but would not intervene in the dispute.

Richard in an interview last Saturday with the French news agency AFP, denied that his company’s decision to end a brand-licencing agreement with Partner, was a message that it was seeking to withdraw from Israel. Richard said that he “sincerely” regretted the “controversy”, according to AFP.

A day earlier, Richard had told the Israeli news website Ynet that he did not mean to say that Orange was pulling out of Israel for political reasons.

“We are friends of Israel - it has nothing do with Israel, we love Israel,” he reportedly said. “My words were misunderstood; I spoke of a purely business issue.” (JTA)

 

2 Comments

  1. 2 nat cheiman 08 Jun
    Don't buy French goods.
  2. 1 Denis Solomons 09 Jun
    France so pro-Israel but so anti-semitic ! ?
    Something doesn't add up !
    Will the real French President Francoise Hollande please stand up .

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