Arab Today, arab today france orange in charm offensive to calm israel spat
Last Updated : GMT 16:44:04
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

France, Orange in charm offensive to calm Israel spat

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today France, Orange in charm offensive to calm Israel spat

France's Orange
Paris - AFP

France sought Friday to calm a furious row with Israel over French telecom group Orange's decision to withdraw from the Jewish state, insisting it was "firmly opposed" to any boycott.

"Although it is for the president of the Orange group to determine the commercial strategy of the company, France is firmly opposed to a boycott of Israel," said Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in an apparent bid to ease the tensions.

Stephane Richard, the chief executive of Orange -- which is part-owned by the French state -- touched off a firestorm of criticism on Wednesday when he told reporters in Cairo he was ready to "withdraw from Israel".

A furious Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the company's decision as "miserable."

"I call on the French government to publicly renounce the miserable remarks and the miserable action of a company that is under its partial ownership," Netanyahu fumed after Orange's announcement.

The Orange comments touched a raw nerve in Israel, which is growing increasingly concerned about global boycott efforts and the impact on its image abroad.

The fresh Franco-Israeli spat comes after a high-profile diplomatic row in December when French lawmakers voted in favour of recognising Palestine as a state.

France's top diplomat Fabius also said that Paris and the European Union "have a consistent policy on settlement-building that is known to all."

Orange, which is partly controlled by the French government, has insisted that its decision to end its brand-licensing agreement with Partner, Israel's second largest mobile operator, was not politically motivated.

Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister hailed Fabius's statement, saying "I welcome the French administration’s renunciation of any kind of boycott against Israel. The position of not accepting boycotts and smear campaigns is significant and strong in Europe as well."

Richard meanwhile sought to soothe frayed nerves by declaring in Israel's Yediot Aharonot newspaper "we love Israel."

"This has nothing to do with Israel, we love Israel, we are in Israel, in the enterprise market, we invest money in innovation in Israel, we are a friend of Israel, so this has absolutely nothing to do with any kind of political debate, in which I don't want to be," Richard was quoted as saying.

"It is a purely commercial point regarding the use of our brand by the company (Partner Communications) under a licence agreement, we don't want to do that," he said.

"I was not aware there is a kind of international campaign regarding this. I am very sorry about that."

- 'We're very angry' -

But Richard's charm offensive fell on deaf ears with incoming Partner chief executive Isaac Benbenisti accusing him of folding to Palestinian pressure.

"I do think the statements were political, I do think the remarks against Israel and Partner were a result of pressures exerted by pro-Palestinian elements, trying to sabotage Israel's relations in the world," Benbenisti told Israeli army radio.

"We're very angry at what he (Richard) said (in Cairo); I can presume that what he said was a result of the huge pressures he's facing, I know pro-Palestinian parties are exerting great pressure."

Although the Orange boss did not directly refer to Jewish settlements, his remarks in Cairo came after the publication on May 6 of a report accusing the telecoms giant of indirectly supporting settlement activity through its relationship with Partner.

Compiled by five mainly French NGOs and two trade unions, the report accuses Partner of building on confiscated Palestinian land, and urges Orange to cut business ties and publicly declare its desire to avoid contributing to the economic viability of the settlements.

The international community regards all Israeli construction on Palestinian land seized during the 1967 Six-Day War as illegal.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today france orange in charm offensive to calm israel spat Arab Today, arab today france orange in charm offensive to calm israel spat

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Hats, scarves add beauty to women

GMT 19:10 2017 Friday ,17 February

Hats, scarves add beauty to women
Arab Today, arab today Tourist guide reveals methods of tourist attractions

GMT 17:46 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Tourist guide reveals methods of tourist attractions
Arab Today, arab today To release new antiques collection

GMT 20:33 2017 Friday ,17 February

To release new antiques collection
Arab Today, arab today Air raid kills eight women, child

GMT 06:42 2017 Friday ,17 February

Air raid kills eight women, child
Arab Today, arab today Murder of 2 reporters in Dominican Republic

GMT 22:45 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Murder of 2 reporters in Dominican Republic
View News in Arabic - Business: أخبار الشركات
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Kidogo provides childcare for underserved

GMT 20:24 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Kidogo provides childcare for underserved
Arab Today, arab today Tragic fluctuations of Bakhtiari's life revealed

GMT 06:50 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Tragic fluctuations of Bakhtiari's life revealed
Arab Today, arab today London to tax old cars

GMT 14:06 2017 Friday ,17 February

London to tax old cars
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Competes Sweden and Germans by S90

GMT 22:36 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Competes Sweden and Germans by S90
Arab Today, arab today Porsche reveals new 2018 Panamera

GMT 17:31 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Porsche reveals new 2018 Panamera
Arab Today, arab today Actress Nadeen Al Rassi views art as her entity

GMT 07:30 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Actress Nadeen Al Rassi views art as her entity
Arab Today, arab today Teach monkeys to recognize themselves in mirror

GMT 20:41 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Teach monkeys to recognize themselves in mirror

GMT 07:05 2017 Friday ,17 February

Singer Diana Karzon will issue a new album soon

GMT 06:40 2017 Friday ,10 February

MP calls for removing text from Islamic story

GMT 13:16 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

First fashion model with Down syndrome

GMT 10:26 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

Emergency UN meeting in Harare

GMT 14:04 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

"Lagom" new Swedish concept in interior design

GMT 12:07 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Bite-mimicking malaria vaccine

GMT 09:03 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Tour guide praises women’s beaches

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 15:16 2017 Sunday ,19 February

Apple to start India operations with iPhone SE

GMT 21:42 2017 Sunday ,12 February

Rania al-Ghazali designs candles of bubbles
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday