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30 May 2009

Abbas Al Lawati, Gulfnews.com

Palestine urges withdrawal of rail contract

Palestinian officials have intensified diplomatic efforts to persuade Saudi Arabia to withdraw a multibillion dollar rail contract awarded to a firm alleged to be complicit in Israel's expansion in Occupied East Jerusalem...The light rail project will link Occupied West Jerusalem to Occupied East Jerusalem [critics accused it of violating international law]...[it] will be partly built by...Alstom. Alstom is part of a consortium awarded a $1.8 billion...contract...for the Makkah-Madinah railway, the Haramain Express...Alstom, Alstom Transport and Veolia are also facing a lawsuit in France for their involvement in the Occupied Jerusalem project...Eric Lenoir...[from] Alstom Transport said Gulf officials had not cited the Occupied Jerusalem project as a concern...[also refers to ASN Bank (part of SNS Reaal) and the Swedish national pension fund]