Egypt does not mind to sign a new contract with Israel on gas export but on new terms and at a new price, Abul Naga, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation said yesterday.
“The Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company informed the Israeli side of its intention to have a new contract,” said Naga at a press conference, adding that the intention had no relation to the Ministry of Petroleum nor the Egyptian government, official news agency MENA reported.
“It is just a business action between two companies,” said Naga.
Concerning Sunday’s decision to halt gas export to Israel, Naga said it was because the Israeli side did not fulfill its financial obligations under the old contract.
“The Israeli side had been informed five times and had its last chance on March 31 but still it did not pay,” said Naga, according to Xinhua.
Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company annulled the contract with the East Mediterranean Gas Company which exports gas to Israel, because it has not paid for the purchased gas in months.
The natural gas deal between Egypt and Israel was signed in 2005 at a price that critics said was far below the market value.
A pipeline in Sinai sending gas to Israel and Jordan was bombed by gunmen on April 9, the 14th time since last February.