Egypt Cancels Natural Gas Deal With Israel
Egypt’s national gas company EGAS announced Sunday that it will be cancelling its natural gas supply deal with Israel.
Ampal-American Israel Corporation, a partner in the East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG), which operates the pipeline, said the Egyptian companies involved had notified EMG they were “terminating the gas and purchase agreement.”
The company said in a statement that the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company had notified them of the decision, adding that “EMG considers the termination attempt unlawful and in bad faith, and consequently demanded its withdrawal.”
It said EMG, Ampal, and EMG’s other international shareholders were “considering their options and legal remedies as well as approaching the various governments.”
Sources close to EMG said in response, “Egypt does not understand what it is doing. This move will bring back the country - politically and economically - by 30 years. This is a breach of the peace agreement with Israel.”
Diplomatic officials in Jerusalem, however, said that the cancelation was done as a result of a business dispute.
“In talks between Israeli and Egyptian diplomatic officials, it was made clear that the cancelation of the deal was part of a business dispute between a private company and Egyptian government companies - a dispute that is currently found in legal proceedings abroad,” a diplomatic source said. “This has nothing to do with the diplomatic relations between Israel and Egypt.”