Next time you feed
business with Israel without fear
of being blacklisted, as well as en-
able many others with economic
links to Israel to expand trade
with the Arab world.
The Kuwait News Agency re-
ported that GCC states are ex-
pected to make additional
smaller, but symbolically signifi-
cant steps with regard to trade
The steps include permitting
tourists and businessmen to en-
ter any of the GCC countries us-
ing passports that reflect travel
to Israel, overflights by foreign
airlines landing in Israel, trans-
shipments of mail through and to
Israel, and calls by foreign flag-
ships that stop in Israeli ports.
Lifting the boycott has been a
longstanding U.S. goal, but is op-
posed by Syria, which has said
it should await an overall peace
Syrian Foreign Minister
Farouk Shara told reporters af-
ter an Arab League ministerial
meeting that the decision by the
GCC "was not timely and does not
serve the Arab negotiators' in-
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The six Gulf
states are the
wealthiest in the
Israeli officials said the timing
of the GCC announcement is tied
both to the first-ever Middle East
regional business conference,
which will take place in Casablan-
ca at the end of this month, and
in large part to U.S. pressure on
Arab countries on the eve of next
month's U.S. elections.
Officials say privately that they
believe Mr. Christopher wants to
demonstrate success. There have
been persistent reports that Mr.
Christopher's job might be in jeop-
ardy after the U.S. elections.
Officials in Israel believe Mr.
Christopher will make a special
push to advance Syrian-Israel
talks when his trip to Israel and
surrounding nations begins Oct.
While the Arab League has not
dropped the secondary boycott,
the action renders the league res-
olution virtually a dead-letter be-
cause the six Gulf states are the
wealthiest in the Arab world.
Furthermore, Egypt is no
longer a signatory to the boycott.
A growing number of companies
have been ignoring the secondary
boycott, especially in the wake of
the Israel-PLO accord, but Israel
had insisted upon a public state-
ment that would send an unmis-
takable signal to companies
worldwide that it was safe to do
business with Israel.
GCC foreign imports are val-
ued at $45 billion per year.
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