Netanyahu’s envoy in Egypt this week to discuss natural gas dispute
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - REUTERS

CAIRO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s special envoy to Egypt Yitzhak Molcho will arrive in Cairo this week to discuss resumption of suspended gas exporting deals to Egypt, Kol Israel reported, citing Israeli officials Saturday.

Egypt has ordered the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) to freeze any negotiations with Israeli companies over exporting gas from Israeli fields, following the Geneva-based International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) arbitration ruling that obliges Cairo to pay $1.76 billion in compensation to Israel over halting the export of natural gas.

During his meeting with Economic Affairs Committee of the Knesset Dec. 8, Netanyahu announced that Israel and Egypt are in contact to reach a solution.

On Nov. 29, Egypt has signed a primarily contract with Israel to export natural gas from Israeli Leviathan offshore gas field for 20 years. Reuters reported that Israel gas companies announced that they would push ahead the negotiation to export Egypt natural gas.

ICC ruling was issued upon a complaint filed by the Israel Electric Corp and East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG) the EGPC  and EGAS , saying they “suffering damages” due to the repeated explosions of North Sinai’s Arish gas pipeline that feeds Jordan and Israel since the January 25, 2011 Revolution.

The EGPC and the EGAS announced in a joint statement on Dec. 6 that they will appeal the ICC ruling.

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