Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Orange International CEO Stephane Richard in Jerusalem on Friday.
At the outset of the meeting, Netanyahu said, "It's no secret that the things you said were perceived by many people as an attack on Israel, so your visit here is therefore an opportunity to set things straight. Israel is the only country in the Middle East that guarantees full civil rights. It's the only country in the Middle East in which everyone is equally protected under the law. We want a true, safe peace with our Palestinian neighbors, but this can be achieved only through direct negotiations between the parties, without prior conditions. You can't get it through boycotts or threats of boycotts."
Richard said, "Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, for the invitation. It is an honor for me to meet you today, and it's also an opportunity for me to correct misunderstandings following those declarations. I'm deeply sorry about the dispute that has been created, and I want to state explicitly that Orange as a company has never supported, and will never support, a boycott of any kind against Israel."
He added, "We're doing business, we deal with communications, we're here in order to connect people, and certainly not to take part in a boycott of any kind whatsoever. Israel is a wonderful place to be in the digital industry, and we want to continue adding strength and investing here."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 14, 2015
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