Orange boss radically opposed to Israel boycott

GMT 18:56 2015 Monday ,08 June

Arab Today, arab today Orange boss radically opposed to Israel boycott

Orange CEO Stephane Richard
Paris - AFP

The head of French telecoms group Orange, Stephane Richard, said Monday he was "radically opposed" to any trade boycott of Israel after he sparked a row by saying he would review ties with the country.

"It was never the question for a second that Orange would withdraw from Israel," he told French TV station BFMTV.

He confirmed he would travel to the Jewish state soon following an invite from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"He has invited me to come see him," said Richard.

The CEO said last week in Cairo that his firm sought to withdraw its brand from Israel.

His comments were seen as a reaction to a report accusing Orange of indirectly supporting settlement activity on occupied territory through its relationship with Israel's Partner Communications.

Israel reacted furiously, accusing him of bowing to a Palestinian-led boycott campaign.

Richard quickly tried to limit the damage, insisting there was no political motivation and telling AFP at the weekend that he "sincerely regrets" the furore.

Partner, Israel's second largest mobile operator which has a licence to use the Orange brand, insisted that he travel to the country to explain himself and Richard was quick to accept an invitation from the government.

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