Official's visa for Dubai banking conference in doubt

This comes just weeks after Dubai refused to issue an entry visa to Israeli tennis star Shahar Pe'er.

By SHARON WROBEL
March 9, 2009 08:59
1 minute read.
The Jerusalem Post

dubai property 88 248. (photo credit: Bloomberg)

 
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The United Arab Emirates has not yet granted a visa to the Israeli representative of the International Chamber of Commerce to attend a global banking conference in Dubai, just weeks after refusing to issue an entry visa to Israeli tennis star Shahar Pe'er. "If it happens again, we will not allow it anymore," Baruch Mazor, secretary general of the ICC representative office in Israel, told The Jerusalem Post Sunday. "Following this incident, the ICC will recommend not to hold meetings in countries that make it difficult or deny entry visas to its members." The ICC is a Paris-based international business and trade organization with branches in 140 countries. Sarah Younger, chairman of the ICC's banking committee, who is also manager of Bank Leumi's international trade section, was invited to the Dubai conference on the global financial crisis, which officially starts Monday. "We were waiting until Friday, and the acceptance of the entry visa was still not confirmed 100 percent," Mazor said. "This is not the way to behave. It came as a surprise. Younger is a very much appreciated and central figure, not a minor participant." Fifty out of the 300 representatives worldwide were not able to get entry visas on time to enable them to take part in the conference, he added. "Sarah Younger has been issued an entry permit," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement Sunday. The ministry said it was trying to ensure that she receives a visa, which was allegedly held up because of missing information on her application. This is not the first time Israeli representatives have been faced with difficulties getting entry visas to conferences and events in Dubai. In a last-minute decision, Dubai at the end of 2007 refused to grant entry visas to an Israeli delegation of 25 firms that was planning to take part in the World Congress of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders.

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