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Saudi Importers Alerted to Egyptian Firms With Links to Israel

Tehran Times
July 14, 2002

RIYADH -- saudi Arabia's commerce minister has warned importers in the kingdom to be cautious in dealing with 15 Egyptian firms which have strong trade links with Israel, a newspaper reported Saturday.

Osama al-Faqih warned the saudi agents of the Egyptian companies to make sure that no Israeli products were smuggled into the saudi market under the guise of Egyptian goods, *** Al-Jazira *** said.

The Damascus-based Arab Office for Boycott of Israel (OBI) recently warned the Egyptian firms, active in agriculture and tourism, against any attempt to smuggle Israeli products into Arab markets, the paper said as cited by AFP.

The minister warned that the saudi importers and Egyptian companies risked being banned and blacklisted by the kingdom.

saudi Arabia earlier this month launched an investigation into a bid by local companies to import mobile phones suspected of being made in Israel through foreign firms.

Faqih also appealed to his Jordanian counterpart, Salah Bashir, during a meeting of the saudi-Jordanian Cooperation Committee in Riyadh Wednesday to help curb the entry of Israeli products into saudi Arabia.

saudi Arabia tightened up its trade boycott against Israel after the Palestinian Intifada against Israeli occupation broke out 22 months ago.

The Council of saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry recently asked its members not to import any goods suspected of being of Israeli origin.

After the 1991 Persian Gulf War and launch of the U.S.-sponsored Arab-Israeli peace process, most Arab states had bowed to U.S. pressure and lifted a longstanding boycott of firms dealing with Israel.

But the OBI last year reinstated the indirect boycott of Israel by blacklisting about 15 foreign companies that deal with the Zionist regime.

The Arab League set up the OBI on May 19, 1951.

The executive office's main job is to update every six months a "blacklist" of Israeli companies (direct boycott) and foreign companies dealing with Israel (indirect boycott).