Egypt Says Not Obliged to Repay Israel for Cut to Gas Supply

Pipeline that carries natural gas to Israel and Jordan was shut down due to damage that was likely caused by sabotage on Wednesday.

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Egypt's Petroleum Minister Abdullah Ghorab said the country was not obliged to compensate Israel and Jordan for the non-delivery of gas after attacks on the pipeline to the two countries, in an interview published Thursday.

Ghorab was quoted by Egypt's al-Shorouk newspaper as saying that Egypt was not bound to pay compensation because the explosions took place during a "state of emergency." Officials in Israel and Jordan have not approached to him to inquire about the situation, he said.

The fire after the gas pipeline attack on Feb. 5. Credit: AFP

Supplies were cut early Wednesday when the pipeline that carries natural gas from Egypt to Israel and Jordan exploded, in what local officials described as an act of sabotage. The stoppage was the second this year. The pipeline was damaged in a blast on February 5, during the unrest that led to Hosni Mubarak's ouster from power.

Egypt has been exporting gas to Israel since 2008 under a 15-year deal, which sees Israel receive the supplies under preferential terms. Six former Egyptian officials, including former petroleum minister Sameh Fahmi and Mubarak's two sons, are facing charges of corruption related to the deal.

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