Sunday, November 13, 2005

Saudi Arabia ends boycott of Israel

The Washington Times is running an article that says that Saudi Arabia has agreed to end all economic boycotts of Israel as a condition of entering the World Trade Organization. It will be entering the WTO next month.

Business Week also confirms that Saudi Arabia will be abandoning the Arab boycott of Israel:
The World Trade Organization on Friday approved Saudi Arabia's bid to become the 149th member of the global body, winding up a 12-year negotiating process slowed by the country's participation in the Arab League boycott of Israel.

The acceptance by all WTO members is necessary before a new member can be admitted, and Saudi Arabia made a number of agreements with different countries on opening up its markets.

Itzhak Levanon, Israel's ambassador to the WTO, said Saudi Arabia had provided sufficient guarantees in its accession process that it would follow the WTO's rules, which include "not having a boycott against anyone else inside the organization."

"Such types of boycotts within the WTO are totally unacceptable," Levanon told The Associated Press. "As soon as Saudi Arabia accepted all these rules, the door has been open for future relations when the moment is ready for that."

But Prince Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia's assistant minister for petroleum affairs, was less clear: "They are a member and we are a member. We are just there as members of the WTO. Nothing more."
So which is it? Are Abdulaziz's comments just for internal consumption?

1 comment:

  1. Another blogger to by and large agree with. Got this from drinksoakedtrots