Middle East Tourism Meeting Postponed in Wake of Elections

Doubts about the Arab-Israeli peace process have resulted in the delay of a meeting in Tunis of Middle Eastern tourism groups.

“Some members had asked for a postponement of the meeting a few days before the Cairo Arab summit,” a source close to the Middle East-Mediterranean Travel and Tourism Association reportedly said. “They wanted to look at its results over normalization with Israel.”

The meeting of the tourism association, which is headquartered in Tunis, is now scheduled for September.

Arab leaders met in Cairo last weekend in response to the victory of the Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu in the prime ministerial election.

It is not known which members of the tourism association asked for the postponement. The group’s founding members are: Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Tunisia and Turkey.

According to an Israeli official, the Jewish state agreed to the postponement, but not for political reasons. The official said more time was needed before the meeting for projects that are under way.

Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali addressed the Arab summit, demanding that Netanyahu follow through on Israel’s peace commitments.

At the same time, a Tunisian economic delegation was in Jerusalem, meeting with Foreign Minister David Levy to discuss areas of cooperation.

The six businessmen, one of whom is the son-in-law of the Tunisian president, invited their Israeli counterparts to visit Tunisia.

Tunisia and Israel recently exchanged economic interest sections.

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