Egypt gas company responds to Israel legal threats

Ahram Online , Tuesday 24 Apr 2012

Egypt gas company hires lawyers in response to Israeli threats to take cancellation of gas exports to international arbitration; Egyptian officials insist decision is not related to Camp David peace accords


The Egyptian company that cancelled gas exports to Israel has hired an international law firm after the Israel Electric Corporation announced Monday that it would take the case to international arbitration.

Mohamed Shoeib, CEO of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), has rejected claims by Israeli officials, particularly those by Israeli Minister of Finance Yoval Steinitz, that the decision had serious political and economic implications for the Camp David peace accords.

Legal advice was taken before the unilateral decision to cancel the contract, Shoeib said.

The decision was purely commercial and should not have political implications, he said, add that when Israel threatened to invoke international law in October over the alleged irregularity of the Egyptian gas supply, it was not accused of threatening the peace deal.

Speaking to Ahram Online on Monday, Shoeib reiterated that the decision was business-related.
"This contract is between EGPC and EGAS in Egypt, and EMG -- it is a commercial contract and the terms and conditions are clear," he said.
"It is the right of the seller to terminate if the buyer fails to pay for four months," he added, indicating that this had been the case.

Israel's Electric Corporation (IEC) issued an official statement Monday stating it would be taking legal action against the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) for the violation of its gas supply and purchase agreement.

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