Saudi Ambassador to U.S. Admits Boycott of Israel Still in Force
As the Post article correctly notes, the admission that Saudi Arabia continues to enforce the primary boycott of Israel contradicts Saudi Arabia's previous pledge to the U.S. made during the bilateral negotiations on issues related to Saudi Arabia's World Trade Organization (WTO) accession. For example, former U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Rob Portman advised the House Ways and Means Committee in February that the boycott issue was a "big concern" because WTO rules require Saudi Arabia to provide nondiscriminatory treatment for all WTO members, including Israel. Portman said that "we have raised this with officials there in Saudi Arabia. We've received assurances from Saudi Arabia. They will abide by their WTO commitments." Similarly, during her confirmation, USTR Susan Schwab told the Senate Finance Committee that Saudi Arabia "was abiding by its pledge to end the boycott" of Israel.