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6/4/15

Middle East - Telecommunications: French Orange says it plans to terminate contract with brand partner in Israel

The French telecoms giant Orange has indicated that it intends to terminate its relationship with the Israeli company that licenses its brand in the country – and would end the relationship “tomorrow” if it could.

The comments – made by the company’s CEO, Stephane Richard – have emerged amid a sharp push back by the Israeli government against growing calls for an international boycott of Israel over its continuing occupation of Palestinian territories.

They were angrily condemned by the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, who called on the French government to “distance itself publicly from the miserable statement and the miserable action of a company that is partially owned by the government of France.”

Although Orange only licenses its name to the Israeli company Partner, the threat – if carried through – will be seen as a major success for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement which has been campaigning on the issue in both France and Egypt.

Orange, in which the French government has a quarter stake, has been under pressure in France as well as in Egypt to terminate its relationship with Partner over its supply of services to Israeli settlements regarded as illegal under international law.

Read more: Orange says it plans to terminate contract with brand partner in Israel | World news | The Guardian

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