Did the German concern "Siemens" sign a contract that included a commitment to respect the Arab boycott of Israel?
The German public television station SWR reported this on Friday - a few hours later the German corporation strongly denied the story.
According to the report, employees of a Turkish subsidiary of the concern received a power of attorney to sign the train supply contract.
In the contract there is a clause, which obligates to respect the Arab boycott of Israel.
According to SWR, the information is found in the corporation's internal documents obtained by the journalists.
According to these documents, one of the financiers of the deal, the Islamic Development Bank based in Saudi Arabia, conditioned the financial assistance for the purchase of eight trains on the signing of a commitment document to boycott Israel.
The Arab League, the Organization of Islamic States and the African Union are partners in the document.
According to the report, the signing obliges "Siemens" not to do business with Israel.
According to the report, "Siemens", which invests among other things in the railway sector in Israel, bypassed the Saudi stipulation for the boycott of Israel - which is contrary to German law - by granting a power of attorney to the employees of the subsidiary in Turkey to sign the document.
The signing was made in 2018.
The chairman of the Germany-Israel Friendship Association, Volker Beck, responded to the report that "it is a case of bankruptcy on the part of a German concern". According to him, he intends to file a complaint with the legal-financial authorities in Germany.
In an initial response of "Siemens" to the TV channel, it was stated: "We adhere to all international standards of fulfilling (contractual) requirements. We do not show any tolerance for corruption, violation of the principles of fair competition or internal laws and guidelines. We cultivate long-term business relationships with Israel."
In this response, the concern refused to address the boycott issue.
Later, after the publication of the news that received widespread coverage in the German media, the corporation's spokesperson published another response, stating that "neither Siemens nor the subsidiary Siemens Turkey signed a contract that included a clause committing to boycott Israel. Only a statement was given regarding the source of the components." The group has been operating in various channels in Israel for 60 years and is well rooted there."
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