Ensour Calls On Cairo To Maintain Natural Gas Supply

Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour on Saturday met with his Egyptian counterpart Hazem Beblawi and discussed bilateral cooperation and means to develop ties in the best interest of the two countries.

Ensour, who began a visit to Cairo on Saturday in his capacity as defence minister to take part in Egypt’s celebrations on the 1973 October war anniversary, underlined the strong relations that Jordan and Egypt enjoy.

He noted that His Majesty King Abdullah’s recent visit to Cairo was the first by an Arab and international leader after the June 30 ouster of president Mohamed Morsi, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The premier stressed the Kingdom’s keenness to increase trade and joint investments with Egypt.

He noted that Jordan welcomes the Egyptian manpower and respects the role they undertake in different areas.

Highlighting the impact of the Syrian crisis on the Jordanian economy, Ensour expressed hope that the Egyptian natural gas supply continues according to the agreed on quantities, in addition to facilitating measures for the entry of Jordanian products to Libya via Egyptian territories.

The Kingdom, which currently buys around 97 per cent of its energy needs, used to import about 240 million cubic feet (mcf) of Egyptian gas a day.

The pipeline carrying Egyptian gas to Jordan and Israel has been blown up repeatedly in the past few months in Egypt, cutting off the supply.

The latest blast in the Sinai Peninsula in early July marked the 16th time the pipeline had been attacked since the outbreak of a popular uprising that swept former president Hosni Mubarak from power in January 2011.

Before July’s explosion, Jordan received some 80mcf from Egypt per day, well below the 240mcf outlined in a 15-year bilateral agreement inked by Cairo and Amman in 2002. The agreement itself was modified after the ousting of Mubarak and Jordan began to pay a higher price for the gas.

For his part, the Egyptian premier commended Jordan’s support for Egyptian labourers and the measures taken to legalise their situation.

At the end of the meeting, the two officials agreed to hold the meetings of the Joint Jordanian-Egyptian Committee this year as scheduled.

Also on Saturday, Ensour visited Jordan’s field hospital in Ein Shams in Cairo and toured the facility, which receives around 500 patients a day, Petra reported.

The 20-bed hospital, which includes 121 medical, nursing and technical staff members, is fully equipped with “state-of-the-art medical equipment”.

Source :  Jordan Times