Friday, March 10, 2006

Trade: WTO official says Saudi Arabia doesn't have to deal with Israel

An official source at the World Trade Organization (WTO) said that there is no text nor an article in the agreement providing for Saudi Arabia's joining of the World Trade Organization, that makes it imperative for Saudi Arabia to cancel its boycott of Israel or halt its continuity of this boycott.

The source told the Saudi daily al-Watan, that despite idioms like "boycott" and "sanctions" and "halting trade relations," "fees" and protection are not in the terms of the WTO, however, article 35 of the general agreement of GATT gives each WTO member state the right to abstain from implementing GATT terms towards another country if it had not earlier joined it in trade negotiations or if such relations threatens its vital interest.

The Jerusalem Post recently reported that despite a promise made to Washington last November to drop its economic boycott of Israel, Saudi Arabia plans to host a major international conference next week aimed at promoting a continued trade embargo on Israel.

On Feb 28, I posted a related article "Dubai company engaged in boycott of Israel."