The chief executive of French telecom giant Orange has told a press conference in Cairo that if it weren’t for contractual obligations his company would sever business ties with Israel “tomorrow” and join the international boycott.
“I am ready to abandon this tomorrow morning but the point is that I want to secure the legal risk for the company. I want to terminate this, once again, but I don’t want to expose Orange to a level of risk and of penalties that could be really sizable for the company,” said CEO Stephane Richard.
Orange, which has an affiliate agreement with the Israeli firm Partner, is one of Israel’s largest cellular service providers.
Richard said that Orange would bow immediately to pressure from human rights organizations in France, if it could do so without incurring heavy penalties. As it is, it will take time.
“I’m sorry to say but entering a dispute when you have zero legal grounds in Israeli courts is not something I would recommend for my company,” Richard said.