Egypt terminates gas deal with Israel

Egypt has repealed a 2005 gas export accord with Israel, which relied heavily on Egyptian natural gas to generate electricity.

The deal was “annulled on Thursday with the East Mediterranean Gas Co (EMG), which exports gas to Israel, because the company failed to respect conditions stipulated in the contract,” Mohamed Shoeib, the chairman of the state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company, told AFP on Sunday.

The provision of gas to Israel has constantly formed a contentious topic among the Egyptian public, which views Tel Aviv as an enemy and opposes engaging in any form of business with it.

In line with the USD-2.5-billion export deal, Israel would receive around 40 percent of its gas supply from Egypt at an extremely low price.

The country used to be Tel Aviv’s strongest Arab ally during the roughly-30-year-long rule of former dictator Hosni Mubarak, who was deposed in a popular revolution in February 2011.

Egyptian militants have blown up the gas pipeline to Israel 14 times since the uprising.

Israel has already moved to begin exploiting the fields, signing a deal with Cyprus to mark out maritime borders, but it faces challenges from Lebanon, which claims that the gas fields lie in its territorial waters.

Source: Agencies

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