Orange S.A. CEO Stephane Richard has landed at Ben Gurion airport in the wake of his comments last week in Cairo that his company wants to break off contacts with Israeli Orange franchisee Partner Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: PTNR; TASE: PTNR). Richard is responding to an invitation by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit Israel and personally apologize over the comments.
Earlier this week, Netanyahu instructed Israel's foreign ministry to tell the country's ambassador to France not to meet with Richard to receive an apology, and that if the Orange CEO wanted to publicly apologize he would have to come to Israel to do so.
An Orange spokesperson said, "Richard will travel to the Jewish State to provide clarifications over the recent misunderstandings, to straighten things out and renew its commitment to the company."
In the wake of the furor by Israel and Jewish groups following Richard's comments, French President Francois Hollande spoke to Netanyahu to express his strenuous opposition to boycotting Israel. The French government has a 25% stake in Orange.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 11, 2015
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015