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April 21, 2003

Syria hosts talks to renew boycott of Israel

And at the same time trying to convince the US that they are good guys and mean no harm in the region?

Representatives of Arab regional offices for the boycott of Israel opened a two-day meeting in Damascus on Monday aimed at reviving a ban against companies that do business with the Jewish state.

Ahmed Khazaa, commissioner general of the 50-year-old Damascus-based Central Boycott Office, said at the opening session that the meeting was being held under "very complicated and delicate circumstances" due to the US-British war on Iraq and the "escalating repressive
Israeli measures against the Palestinian people."

He said Israel was still denying Palestinians their rights and was still in violation of international resolutions and said Arabs should support the Palestinians' struggle by supporting the boycott.

The meeting, which brings together representatives from 15 Arab states, will discuss the Arab-Israeli conflict and ways of providing financial assistance to the Palestinian uprising.

Participants will also consider blacklisting new companies that do business with Israel.

Egypt, Jordan and Mauritania, who are bound by peace accords with Israel, did not attend the meeting.

Mohammed al-Ajami, head of the Syrian regional office, said the boycott was "the only legitimate means to reign in the Israeli aggressor."

He stressed that the economic boycott of Israel would remain active "till the liberation of all occupied Arab lands and the restoration of all Palestinian rights, including the right of establishing an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.[more]