UK to boycott OECD conference in Jerusalem

Misezhnikov: Palestinians pressured member countries to stay away from tourism conference in Jerusalem.

Stas Misezhnikov 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Stas Misezhnikov 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Great Britain is boycotting the OECD's biannual tourism conference this year, because it will be held in Jerusalem, Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov said on Monday.
"OECD officials demanded that we not bring the delegates to East Jerusalem, or that we move the conference to Tel Aviv," Misezhnikov said. "If we agreed to that, they promised to send many delegates."
The tourism ministry agreed not to take delegates to east Jerusalem, and to avoid mentioning east Jerusalem at all, but refused to move the conference to Tel Aviv.
"I strongly denounce the states that surrendered to threats," he added. "But the conference - with the participation of 21 ministers, deputy ministers and organization heads - will take place as planned in Jerusalem. This will be a declaration of intent and a seal of approval on the fact that we have a state whose recognized capital is Jerusalem."
Misezhnikov suspects that the boycott is a result of Palestinians urging OECD members to stay away from the conference.
"The Palestinians, who insist they are a reliable negotiating partner, are continuing to cause us damage," the minister said. "We exerted intensive pressure via the ambassadors and decided to hold the conference despite certain countries' decision not to send delegates, including England."
The conference, set to take place on October 20-22, will be held outside of Paris for the second time, and will focus on sustainable tourism.
Some of the countries expected to attend the conference are Austria, the Czech Republic, Spain, Denmark, France, Germany, South Africa, The Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Estonia and Turkey.