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Egypt vows not to compensate Israel over cessation of gas supplies

February 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Egypt’s Petroleum Minister, Abdullah Ghorab, has affirmed that his government is not committed to paying Israel compensation after the export of natural gas to the country was halted for ‘compelling reasons’.

In a statement made to the media on Wednesday, July 27, Ghorab said that the cessation of Egyptian gas supplies to Jordan and Israel was not a government decision, but rather the consequence of compelling circumstances. The pipeline pumping gas to the two countries was bombed during the political upheaval. Ghorab asserted that this was not a matter of Egyptian obstinacy, and that the Egyptian government had no obligation to compensate Israel or any other state. He added that international law allows for Egypt to stop pumping gas temporarily.

The Egyptian minister noted that his government intends to amend all gas supply agreements so as to guarantee fair prices because the old prices were well below the international market rates.

Meanwhile, the former petroleum minister and six other officials from the ousted Mubarak regime are currently facing indictments for squandering public resources. The officials are accused of signing an agreement in 2005 to supply Israel with 40% of its natural gas needs; which resulted in a $700 million loss for Egypt.