UNCLAS MUSCAT 001513
DEPT FOR NEA/ARPI, EB/CIP/BA, EB/CBA
STATE PASS USTR (S. DONNELLY, J. BUNTIN)
USDOC FOR 4520/ITA/MAC/AMESA/OME/MTALAAT
USDOC FOR BIS - DMCCORMICK, DJACKSON, WWYSONG
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KBCT ETRD ECON PGOV IS MU
SUBJECT: OMAN AFFIRMS NO BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL
REF: MUSCAT 1500
Â¶1. (SBU) On September 28, 2005, the Minister of Commerce and
Industry, Maqbool bin Ali Sultan, transmitted a letter, via
facsimile, to the Embassy for transmission to Robert Portman,
United States Trade Representative.
(Begin letter text)
Please accept my congratulations on your recent appointment
to serve as the United States Trade Representative.
It has come to my attention that questions have arisen
regarding Oman's participation in the Arab Boycott of Israel.
I would like to assure you that Oman does not apply any
aspect of the boycott, whether primary, secondary or tertiary
or have any laws to that effect. Oman has no restriction
whatsoever on U.S. companies trading with Oman or doing
business with Oman, regardless of its ownership or relations
with Israeli companies, and the Government is taking steps to
ensure that all Ministries are aware of the situation and
remove any boycott language that may unintentionally remain
in their contacts.
As a Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Oman did
not invoke the non-application provisions of the WTO
Agreement toward any other Member, and therefore has all WTO
rights and obligations with respect to all Members.
(End letter text)
Â¶2. (SBU) Officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and
Commerce and Industry have repeatedly assured Emboffs that
Oman employs no boycotts on Israel and expressed hopes that
the Commerce Minister's letter will finally put these
questions to rest. Emboffs and visiting officials from the
Department of Commerce's Antiboycott Compliance Office
recently called on two local entities that had recently
employed boycott language in their tender contracts, winning
assurances from them that the boycott language was
inadvertent and would be removed (reftel).
Â¶3. (SBU) While Oman, which hosted an Israeli trade mission
until September 2000, has consistently disavowed any boycott
on trade with Israel, Minister Responsible for Foreign
Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi stated to the press on October 3 that
conditions were not yet suitable for reopening that mission.
He added, however, that "there is no room for boycotts...