Orange: We love Israel!

PNN/Jerusalem/

Israeli occupation Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu met yesterday in Jerusalem with Stéphane Richard, Chief Executive and Chairman of telecommunications giant Orange, who arrived in Israel to apologize for the remarks he made in Cairo regarding his intent to withdraw his business from Israel.

During the meeting, Richard expressed his deep regret for the emergence of this dispute, stressing that his company did not support any kind of boycott against Israel, hence the visit to Israel as an opportunity to correct this impression. He stressed that the intent to withdraw Orange business from Israel was a business decision, instead of a political one.

In an interview to Ynet on Friday morning, Richard rejected recent accusations of anti-Semitism and support of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, saying, “We love Israel. This has absolutely nothing to do with the kind of political debate in which I don’t want to be.”

Netanyahu said that Israel was the only country in the Middle East that granted its citizens full rights, and that it was seeking to achieve real and lasting peace and security with its Palestinian neighbours. He stressed that this peace would only come through direct negotiations between the parties without preconditions.

Settler website 7 said that the majority of Israeli officials had refused to meet Richard, who will meet with Netanyahu on Friday to offer his apologies for remarks made in Cairo last week. Richard said during his stay in Egypt that Orange would withdraw its business in Israel due to the company Partner’s ongoing work in illegal settlements.