Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum, Abdallah Ghorab, has highlighted a difficulty in the negotiations due to start within days to amend the prices for the country’s natural gas exports to Israel.

The minister, in an exclusive statement to Al-Masry Al-Youm, said that Eastern Mediterranean Gas (EMG), the company that oversees the gas exports to Israel, has voiced reservations over price increases, while Tel Aviv completely rejects the suggestion. Formal negotiations are due to start within days.

Ghorab added that the ministry handles the negotiations from a purely economic perspective, focussing on securing the highest profit possible for Egypt, regardless of political considerations.

The minister credited Egypt with convincing the company to review the price before 2013, the earliest date allowed for a review as dictated by the deal signed between Egypt and Israel in 2009.

Meanwhile, a senior EMG official said the Israeli side is sticking to the 2013 deadline because it knows that the current deal has a higher value than that of other export contracts signed by the Egyptian government.

(Source: Al-Masry Al-Youm)