Israel gas deal cancellation not a threat to Egypt security: Presidential hopeful El-Awa

Ahram Online, Monday 23 Apr 2012

Islamist presidential candidate Mohamed Selim El-Awa says ending gas deal with Israel not related to Egypt-Israel peace treaty

El-Awa on the presidential campaign trail (Photo: El-Awa campaign)

The termination of the Egypt-Israel gas deal is nothing but the cancellation of a contract between the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation [EGPC] and the East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG), according to presidential hopeful Mohamed Selim El-Awa.

In a phone interview with the Cairo programme hosted by Amr Adib on Al-Youm satellite TV on Sunday, El-Awa described concerns that Israel would reoccupy Sinai or demand high financial compensation as "lies."

He added that Israel did not have the capacity to start war with Egypt as it was currently threatened by several other countries such as Iran, Lebanon and Syria.

El-Awa reiterated that the gas deal was purely economic and completely unrelated to Egypt's peace treaty with the Zionist state. He added that Israel was buying gas at far below its true market price. He said former prime minister Ahmed Nazif and former petroleum minister Sameh Fahmy had ignored court orders to adjust the price.

In addition, El-Awa dismissed claims that EMG, which was founded by fugitive business tycoon Hussein Salem, a close associate of ousted president Mubarak, could claim financial compensation from Egypt because the company had not paid for all the gas it had been receiving, adding that if it should seek redress at an international court Egypt would be compensated not the other way round.

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