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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09ALGIERS1093 2009-12-08 12:54:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Algiers
Cable title:  

ALGERIA: RESPONDING TO ARAB LEAGUE BOYCOTT

Tags:   KBCT ECON ETRD XF 
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VZCZCXRO0421
RR RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHAS #1093 3421254
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 081254Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY ALGIERS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8216
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
					  UNCLAS ALGIERS 001093 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/RA MKELLY, PASS TO USTR COMMERCE FOR BIS/OIC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KBCT ECON ETRD XF
SUBJECT: ALGERIA: RESPONDING TO ARAB LEAGUE BOYCOTT
REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

REF: STATE 120272



1. Summary: Since 1948, Algeria has had no diplomatic,
cultural, or direct trade relations with Israel. Israeli
products are banned and closely monitored by Customs and
Inspectors from the Ministry of Commerce. However, some
Israeli products make their way into Algeria, with different
brands and trademarks, usually through European suppliers.
Algeria does not enforce the Arab League Boycott against
Israel, and American firms operating in Algeria have reported
no GOA inquiries related to the boycott. End Summary.

ALGERIA'S COOPERATION AND PARTICIPATION IN THE ALB


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2. Algeria has long had legislation supporting the Arab
League Boycott, but it does not enforce that law beyond
banning direct exports to and imports from Israel. The
government enforces only the primary boycott -- and that
haphazardly. Algerian firms can and do readily acquire
Israeli products that have been stripped of Israeli markings
from intermediaries in Cyprus, Greece, Turkey, or elsewhere.
(Note: These tend to be specialized goods such as irrigation
and desalination equipment and parts. End Note) There is no
office in Algeria to facilitate such indirect trade with
Israel.



3. There have been calls during each of the U.S. conflicts
with Iraq, primarily from the Algerian business community, to
observe the boycott. (Comment: These calls only came in
during the first few weeks of these conflicts and not,
paradoxically, during recent Israeli incursions into Gaza).
However, these appeals stemmed more from a protectionist fear
of being undersold by Israeli-origin goods than political or
religious principle. There have been no such appeals in the
last year. In addition, there is no evidence of GOA
adherence to the secondary/tertiary aspects of the boycott.
For example, GOA and Algerian firms do business with
Microsoft, Citibank, Northrop Grumman, and Proctor and
Gamble, all of which do business here as well as in Israel.
Additionally, the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (a
private NGO) categorically states that Algeria does not
enforce the secondary boycott as of September 2007.

ALGERIAN REQUESTS FOR U.S. COMPLIANCE


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4. No U.S. firms report GOA requests that they comply with
boycott requirements or provides information regarding such
compliance. Algeria has not modified long-standing
legislation regulating the Arab League Boycott.

IMPACT ON U.S. BUSINESSES


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5. Numerous American firms that operate in Algeria have
operations in Israel, and we have no record of U.S. firms
facing boycott-related obstacles.

LEGISLATION/REGULATIONS COVERING ASPECTS OF THE ALB


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--------------------------





6. Algerian law contains no specific codifications or
references to the Arab League Boycott, and post knows of no
GOA public statements on the issue. While the primary
boycott is informally recognized by virtue of Algeria's
membership in the Arab League, there is no GOA treaty,
convention, or legislation mandating conformity with, or
participation in, the boycott.

ALB OFFICES AND THE CENTRAL BOYCOTT OFFICE IN DAMASCUS


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--------------------------





7. Algeria does not maintain a boycott office. There was
once a joint boycott enforcement commission made up of staff
from the ministries of foreign affairs and commerce that met
periodically. However, the commission appears to have become
defunct. Contacts at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs cannot
recall the last time the commission met and have denied any
MFA role in boycott enforcement.

EMBASSY ALB OUTREACH EFFORTS


--------------------------





8. Since Algeria does not enforce the boycott, Embassy
officials have undertaken no ALB outreach efforts during FY09.
BOSSHART