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Cablegate: Libya: Section 565 Waiver of Prohibition Against Contracting with Firms Complying with Al Boycott

From: CBPC, EACTAPP
Sent: Monday, December 29, 2008 3:05 PM
To: EACTTripoli
Subject: TRIPOLI 00000982 O UN 29-DEC-08 LIBYA: SECTION 565 WAIVER OF
PROHIBITION AGAINST CONTRACTING WITH FIRMS COMPLYING WITH AL BOYCOTT
[8377562]

UNCLAS

VZCZCXRO5965
OO RUEHTRO
DE RUEHTRO #0982 3641314
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 291314Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4271
INFO RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 4794

UNCLAS TRIPOLI 000982

SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR NEA/MAG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KBCT ABLD PHUM AL ECON AMGT ASUP AFIN LY
SUBJECT: LIBYA: SECTION 565 WAIVER OF PROHIBITION AGAINST CONTRACTING WITH FIRMS COMPLYING WITH AL BOYCOTT

REF: A) STATE 132944, B) TRIPOLI 480 1. (U) The Government of Libya (GOL) does not maintain diplomatic relations with Israel. Local firms are required by national law to comply with the Arab League (AL) boycott, and would therefore not be able to sign the required U.S. certification without exposing themselves to civil and/or criminal penalties. Post accordingly requests a waiver of the AL boycott certification. 2. (SBU) In 2007, the Ministry of Trade and Economy informed Post that the GOL does not enforce the boycott; however, the government continues to use the boycott as a means by which to selectively sanction foreign corporations and boycott language continues to appear in contracts. As detailed in ref B, UK-based retailer Marks and Spencer was threatened with closure and decried in the government-sanctioned press as being a "Zionist entity," despite having been removed from the AL's boycott list in mid-2007. At year's end, Marks and Spencer continued to operate one location in Tripoli, albeit under the recurring threat of being shuttered. Bills of lading and customs declarations for imports cannot indicate trade with Israel, and shippers are legally required to certify that no goods are of Israeli origin. Libya continues to enforce a travel ban for passports containing Israeli visas or entry/exit stamps. CRETZ

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