House Unamiously Passes Resolution Condemning Saudi Boycott of Israel
(April 6, 2006)
The U.S. House of Representatives unamiously passed a resolution urging the Bush administration to pressure Saudi Arabia into lifting its boycott of Israel and complying with its World Trade Organization commitments. WTO members are not permitted to boycott another member nation, and Saudi Arabia had repeatedly promised the U.S. that it would comply. However, it recently hosted the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s annual meeting for officers responsible for enforcing the boycott of Israel, thereby violating the WTO rules.
Whereas the United States supported the accession of Saudi Arabia to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2005; (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by House)
HCON 370 EH
Whereas the United States supported the accession of Saudi Arabia to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2005;
Whereas, as part of the working party report for the accession of Saudia Arabia to the WTO, Saudi Arabia reiterated its commitment to terminate the secondary and tertiary boycotts on Israel;
Whereas Saudi Arabia also committed not to discriminate against any WTO members and specifically did not invoke the non-application provisions of the WTO Agreement, and thus has rights and obligations to all WTO members, including Israel;
Whereas, in spite of these commitments to WTO members and United States officials, press reports indicate that an official of the Government of Saudi Arabia has stated that Saudi Arabia has not committed to ending the primary boycott on Israel, which would violate Saudi Arabia's WTO obligations toward Israel;
Whereas United States Trade Representative Portman has testified to the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives that Saudi Arabia's application of the boycott is a `big concern' of the United States; that Saudi Arabia did not invoke non-application of WTO commitments to Israel, so that Saudi Arabia is required to provide nondiscriminatory treatment to Israel; and that the United States Trade Representative has received assurances from Saudi Arabia that it will abide by its WTO commitments; and
Whereas the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) scheduled its `Ninth Meeting of the Liaison Officers of Islamic Regional Officers for the Boycott of Israel' for the week of March 13, 2006, at the OIC's headquarters in Saudi Arabia: Now, therefore, be it
Passed the House of Representatives April 5, 2006.
Expressing the sense of the Congress that Saudi Arabia should fully live up to its World Trade Organization commitments and end all aspects of any boycott on Israel.
Source: Thomas; JTA