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Egypt 'Not Embarrassed' to Import Israeli Gas

Indirect Egypt-Israeli relations are 'no longer taboo', says Cairo's Minister of Petroleum.
By Arutz Sheva
First Publish: 7/8/2014, 2:10 PM

Israeli Tamar gas rig
Israeli Tamar gas rig
Flash 90

Egypt's Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Sherif Ismail, sees no problem with allowing the British BG Group to import gas from Israel, he told Daily News Egypt Wednesday.

“This is a must”, he added, explaining that without imports, gas companies working in Egypt might resort to international arbitration and sue the government.

“As the Minister of Petroleum, I remain of the opinion that there is no problem in letting BG Group import Israeli gas to protect Egypt from international fines and arbitration,” Ismail said.

The company has not yet requested the government to begin the process of importing gas, he said, and it will only be allowed to import after approval and the signing of an agreement with the Egyptian government.

“There is no embarrassment in Egypt using the gas the BG Group imports from Israel given our economic issues,” the minister went on. He stated that politically speaking, a situation in which the president and the government work indirectly with Israel “is no longer taboo”.

“Whatever is in Egypt’s interest must be implemented immediately as we are dealing with an energy crisis,” the minister said.

Ismail noted that the British company has only signed a letter of intent as an initial agreement to start negotiating with partners in the Leviathan gas field to import natural gas from Israel to a BG Group liquefaction plant in Idku, Egypt.