(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Egyptian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Fayza Abul-Naja said Monday her government was not opposed to negotiating a new deal to resume Egyptian gas supplies to Israel "under new terms and conditions."
"The Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Co. (an affiliate of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation) told the Israeli side of our stance while informing them of the decision to terminate the old deal yesterday," the minister told reporters here.
"This is a purely commercial dispute and the Egyptian government has nothing to do with it; the Egyptian company had warned its Israeli partner - East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG) - of the consequences of the latter's breaches of deal five times ago, but the EMG failed to meet its financial obligations under the provisions of the contract," Abul-Naja made clear.
"The Israeli side failed to meet the ultimatum of last March 31 for paying the costs of gas supplies, thereby the contract was automatically rendered null and void," she explained.
Responding to Israeli claims that the decision to terminate the contract was "politically-motivated," Ayman Salama, member of the Egyptian Foreign Affairs Council, said the move is based on commercial and legal grounds.
"Since 2010, Israel has failed to meet its financial obligations; thus violating the legal terms of the contract signed in 2005," he pointed out.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian People's Assembly (lower house of parliament) welcomed the move and rejected the ensuing "flagrant Israeli threats." "This is a lawful historic decision which reflects the free will of the Egyptian people; the Parliament Speaker Dr. Saad Al-Katatni said in an address to the MPs.
He affirmed that all the people will stand united in the face of the Israeli threats.