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Arab states ignore Nestle boycott

Despite Arab League's decision to boycott Swiss food giant because it maintains branch in Israel, most League members are likely to ignore it

AFP
Published: 07.09.06, 08:08 / Israel Business

Swiss food giant Nestle has been added to the Arab League list of companies to be boycotted because of links with Israel, officials said Tuesday, but a source said the decision was likely to be ignored by most member states.

 

The Damascus-based Arab League Central Boycott Office (CBO) has informed Nestle that the firm was added to the list during a meeting in Damascus in May "because it maintains a branch in Israel," according to Syrian representative Mohammad Ajami.

 

Ajami, who said Nestle was given a one-year delay to "regulate its situation" by ceasing operations in Israel, confirmed to AFP that Syria had decided to comply with the CBO decision.

 

But other Arab League member states - where Nestle maintains a presence - have decided not to abide by the decision, a source close to the case told AFP on condition of anonymity.

 

He said the Lebanese government had been informed of the CBO decision but had decided to ignore it.

 

Nestle, one of many multinational companies that operate both in Syria and Israel, also maintains presence in a number of Arab Gulf states, as well as Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.

 

The CBO was created by the Arab League in 1951. It is charged with updating twice a year a list of Israeli companies and firms dealing with Israel.

 

But the office became rather obsolete after a number of Arab countries signed peace agreements or established relations with Israel over more than two decades.

 

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