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Lebanon Refuses to Comply with Arab Boycott Rulings Against Israel

The first official refusal by an Arab country to company with an Arab boycott ruling against Israel was reported today in the Arab press reaching here.

According to the press reports, a Lebanese spokesman disclosed that Lebanon had notified the Arab boycott office in Cairo that the Beirut Government would not follow an order to boycott Air France and the British Imperial Chemical Industries in retaliation for the refusal of the two firms to cease operations in Israel. Arab boycott pressures while failing to force the ICI out of Israel, apparently have induced British Shell to stop the sales operations.

The Lebanese spokesman pointed out that several other Arab states were not implementing boycott office decisions, leading observers here to note that the boycott office, which is a branch of the Arab League, is actually an instrument of Egyptian policy, as is the League. The observers said that the application of pressure against Lebanon apparently was understood by the Beirut Government to be aimed as much against Lebanon’s “pro-Western” attitude as against Israel.