'French energy giant Total has sparked the anger of Israeli authorities after its chief executive said making investment in the “complex” Israel was not worth the risk.
Total’s chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said in an interview with the Financial Times that it was too “complex” to invest in Israel, noting that his company’s operation in the Middle East was a sticking point.
“We like complex situations ... up to a certain point. Let’s be clear,” he said.
Pouyanne further said that the stakes in Israel were not big enough to accept the risks involved, partly due to the competition already in the region.
Israel’s energy minister Yuval Steinitz slammed the stance as “unacceptable,” saying firms that refused to invest in Israel were living in the “past decades.”
“I reject it with two hands, I think this is a miserable view,” Steinitz said, adding “We will consider our reaction to this as it is totally unacceptable, to boycott [Israel].”
Israel relies heavily on gas. The Tel Aviv regime has long been developing a number of offshore gas deposits in the Mediterranean Sea.
Steinitz claimed that other international firms, including Google, Lockheed Martin and Boeing, that had invested in Israel had not faced any problems in the Arab world.
“Companies that were afraid to make investments in Israel in the past because of the Arab Muslim world made the wrong calculation,” Steinitz said, adding he had met many energy ministers from Persian Gulf Arab countries in recent years.'
Read more: Tel Aviv irate after Total says Israel not worth investing in
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