An ultra orthodox Jewish man walks past a store of Israeli telecom operator Partner, which has a license from French company Orange to use its brand, in Jerusalem on June 4, 2015. AFP/MENAHEM KAHANA
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France sought Friday to calm a furious row with Israel over French telecom group Orange's decision to withdraw from the Jewish state, insisting it was "firmly opposed" to any boycott.The Orange comments touched a raw nerve in Israel, which is growing increasingly concerned about global boycott efforts and the impact on its image abroad.Orange, which is partly controlled by the French government, has insisted that its decision to end its brand-licensing agreement with Partner, Israel's second largest mobile operator, was not politically motivated.Richard's charm offensive fell on deaf ears with incoming Partner chief executive Isaac Benbenisti accusing him of folding to Palestinian pressure.
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