AL-QUDS (Dispatches) – The Zionist regime’s energy minister said on Sunday that an arbitration case with Egypt over a defunct natural gas deal could be solved in the coming months, but that the issue was not holding back cooperation in the sector.
In 2015, the International Chamber of Commerce ordered Egypt to pay regime-owned Israel Electric Corp about $1.8 billion in compensation after a deal to export gas to the occupied territories via pipeline collapsed in 2012 due to attacks by militants in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.
Egypt appealed the decision and a final agreement has yet to be reached, though earlier this month Israel Electric said they were close to reaching an agreement in which Egypt would pay it $500 million over eight and a half years.
"I think there is already a final understanding, but it needs approval of the Israeli electric authority and maybe also of someone on the Egyptian side,” Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said in an interview with Reuters. "Probably it’s an issue of a few months.”
Egypt had once sold gas to the Zionist regime, but the deal was terminated by Egypt’s state-run gas company EGAS following the ouster of the country’s dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Cairo has also been accused of acting as the regime’s proxy in maintaining Tel Aviv’s years-long blockade on the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip.
Relations between Cairo and Tel Aviv have improved since the 2013 toppling of Egypt’s first democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi.
Jordan and Egypt are the only two Arab states to have full diplomatic ties with the regime, but the relations remain limited and taboo among the general populations.
The last time a Zionist minister visited Egypt was in November 2017 when Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel took part in a conference on the promotion of gender equality in Mediterranean states.
Relations between the regime and some Arab countries have warmed in recent months, with Zionist ministers last year visiting the United Arab Emirates and Oman.