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Friday, 15 December 2017

Egyptian MPs call for boycott of US products if Trump recognises Jerusalem as Israeli capital

MPs also said that Arab parliaments should hold emergency meetings to discuss Trump's policies in the Middle East

Gamal Essam El-Din , Wednesday 6 Dec 2017
Egyptian Parliament (Reuters)
Egyptian Parliament (Reuters)
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Egyptian MPs said on Wednesday that Egypt should boycott American products if US President Donald Trump goes through with his expected move to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

A group of leftist MPs affiliated with parliament's 25-30 bloc said in a statement that Trump's anticipated decision to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would constitute a "historic crime."

"Any attempt to take hold of Jerusalem or change its identity as an Arab city and the capital of Palestine would be a very dangerous and historic crime that would badly affect security and stability in the Middle East," the bloc said, adding that the move would be a violation of international resolutions.

"We should take a united position in the form of imposing a comprehensive boycott of all American products, as well as stopping the import of any goods from the United States," said the statement.

"Since America only knows the language of interests, boycotting American products would be very effective, not to mention that we can take other measures that can badly affect America's strategic interests in the Arab world."

In a press conference held in parliament's Pharaonic Hall, MP Ahmed El-Sharkawi said that "Egypt's parliament should pass a [proposed] legislation aimed at imposing a boycott on American products and goods."

"This legislation was drafted by the bloc and aims to be an effective response to America's aggressive policies in the Arab world," said El-Sharkawi. 

Diaaeddin Dawoud, another leftist MP, said that Egyptian and Arab parliaments should hold emergency meetings to rally Arab peoples against Trump's irrational policies in the Middle East.

"Arab parliaments should give a voice to Arab peoples in response to America's anti-Palestinian policies," said Dawoud, adding that "the reaction to Trump's follies should not be confined to Arab officials and the voice of peoples in this respect should be stronger and louder than Arab presidents and kings."

Dawoud said the boycott of American products should include Arab imports of US weapons.

"I say to Arab governments, please stop injecting billions of dollars into the US economy by buying American weapons," said Dawoud.

Mostafa Bakri, an independent MP and a journalist, also told journalists that an emergency parliamentary meeting should be held as soon as possible to respond to Trump's pro-Israel policies.

"This meeting should be attended by the prime minister and foreign minister to explain what Egypt and Arab countries can do in response to Trump's dangerous policies," said Bakri.

Shadia Thabet, an independent female MP, said that "Trump bets that Arabs will not stand united against aggressive policies."

"We do not place much hope on Arab leaders, but we hope that Arab peoples and parliaments will show a strong reaction to America's anti-Palestinian policies," said Thabet, adding that "while many thought that Trump would focus on fighting terrorist groups, they found that he opted to inflame extremists and terrorists by adopting his anti-Arab and anti-Muslim policies."

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