This is just a friendly reproach. Why should we wait until the Israeli newspapers divulge this information? Why? Why must you allow people to exercise pressure on us? Since you, at the Ministry of Petroleum, have known about this for the past two days or three or four or five days, why did you not issue a press release? Why did you not make use of Saturday and Sunday to reassure the public?
This problem has been with us for so long, since the time of Hamdi Al-Banbi, may God grant him a long life. For so long we have been embroiled in this dispute, in this enigma and then came Engineer Sameh Fahmi followed by several other ministers up to this minute.
We have no transparency. By God, now Israel is doing this. You have companies who took one area and are exploring for gas and they have entered into a deal with an Israeli or a Jewish or I don’t know what company. Why did you not announce this? Why have you waited as if to give these people reasons to jump on us? Why must you put us in a predicament? Why must we be placed in a position that we have to defend ourselves in?
The strange thing is that there has been no statement made by the Ministry of Petroleum. This is the tragedy. They just quote a source, a source. [He reads through from a press report] All of this, and we figure nowhere.
[Reading from a report by Al-Masri Al-Youm newspaper] No sir.
Regrettably, regrettably, it is still the same mentality. Yes, by God, it is still the same one. As usual, we wait until the axe is thrust into the head and then we start pulling the axe out. It is exactly the same rule today that ruled us before. By God Almighty, it is exactly the same ministerial performance.
You already know that importing gas from Israel is a sensitive issue and so is exporting gas to Israel. Why then are you leaving people uninformed like this? And, if this is a matter that is to do with certain companies, why did you not come out yesterday or the day before yesterday with a statement to say that so and so was signed? Is this something that can be concealed, sir?
Until today you have not issued a statement in the name of the Ministry of Petroleum. You have not reassured the public about the fact that you have a problem or that you have a predicament. You should have assured the public that this issue is about nothing and told the public that they have nothing to worry about because this principally is the work of foreign companies. But nothing whatsoever came out.
You are just leaving things to bump into each other and bump into each other while no one is saying anything.
My God, they are taking us back to the days of Hussein Salem. It is the same thing, and there is nothing.