.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Egypt says it is ending natural gas deal with Israel

From Al Arabiya/Reuters
Egypt has notified Israel that it is “terminating” a controversial gas supply deal, Ampal-American Israel Corporation, which owns a stake in a company that exports natural gas from Egypt to Israel, said on Sunday.

Ampal said that its international partners in Egypt-Israel gas deal are considering legal options against Egypt, according to Reuters.
Ampal issued a press release calling this termination "unlawful":
Ampal-American Israel Corporation AMPL, a holding company in the business of acquiring and managing interests in various businesses, announced today that it has been advised by East Mediterranean Gas Co. ("EMG"), in which Ampal has a 12.5% interest, that Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation ("EGPC") and the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company ("EGAS") notified EMG that they were terminating the Gas Supply and Purchase Agreement (the "Source GSPA") between the parties. EMG considers the termination attempt unlawful and in bad faith, and consequently demanded its withdrawal. EMG, Ampal, and EMG's other international shareholders are considering their options and legal remedies as well as approaching the various Governments.

As previously disclosed, EMG initiated arbitration against EGPC and EGAS in October 2011 due to EGPC and EGAS's long-standing failure to supply the gas quantities owed under the Source GSPA. EMG is seeking compensation from EGPC and EGAS for damages resulting from their contractual breaches. EMG already has further requested that an arbitral tribunal issue an order that EGPC/EGAS perform their obligations under the Source GSPA and rule that EGPC and EGAS are not entitled to terminate the agreement. The arbitration is ongoing. In addition, as previously disclosed, Ampal and certain other international shareholders of EMG have initiated the process of submitting claims against the Government of Egypt under various bilateral treaties for the protection of investments.

Last year Israel's National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau said that the gas agreement with Egypt is the most important outcome of the Camp David Accords.

But, hey, how important is a signed agreement, anyway? It's not like the Arab side feels that they have to obey agreements with the Zionist entity, do they?

The US reaction to this flagrant dismissal of one of the key components of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty will be important. Remember, Israel gave up some valuable oil fields in the Sinai as part of the Camp David accords.

Not important at all but slightly interesting would be Jimmy Carter's reaction, since he takes all credit for Camp David to begin with. Will his hate for Israel trump his belief in the agreement?