King Abdullah of Jordan and Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, Chief of Egypt’s Ruling Military Council exchanged views to boost bilateral cooperation and other issues of mutual concern between the two countries, in a meeting held in Cairo.
Jordan’s king stressed his nation’s full commitment to strengthening relations with Egypt and building on previous cooperation that will serve the interests of both countries, according to a Royal Jordanian statement issued Tuesday evening.
Addressing the latest developments in the Middle East region, the two countries agreed to continue their ongoing consultations and coordination in order to boost joint action, which serves Arab causes important to both.
The meeting was attended by Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, Finance Minister Samir Radwan and Petroleum Minister Abdullah Ghorab.
It is worth mentioning that this meeting comes at a time when relations between the two countries are strained following Cairo’s insistence on renegotiating its contract to export gas to the Hashemite Kingdom. Prior to the April attack on the gas pipeline, which runs between the two countries, Jordan had been importing 6.8 million cubic meters of Egyptian gas per day – enough to supply 80% of Jordan’s demand.
Under the terms of the 14-year deal signed by Jordan in 2002, Jordan had been paying Egypt half of the market price for gas. Prime Minister Sharaf said earlier this month that Egypt would review its contracts with Jordan and other countries including Israel amid accusations that Mubarak’s government had improperly negotiated gas sales at preferential prices.
The Jordanian government has agreed to reopen its natural gas contract with Egypt and to pay market standard prices.