Minister of International Cooperation Fayza Abul Naga said Monday that Israel is ready to resume talks concerning a new contract with Israel at a new price, after Egypt canceled its 2005 gas deal over a reported business dispute, Haaretz reports.
“Egypt has no objections to reach a new contract with new conditions and new prices,” Fayza Abul Naga said Monday.
The Egypt-Israeli gas deal has been viewed with great suspicion while critics point out Israel brought gas at below market prices making the deal a rip-off for Egypt.
Earlier Monday, Egypt stressed that the cancellation of the gas deal between the two countries was not motivated by political developments, but rather was a business dispute between them.
Egypt’s ambassador to Israel also confirmed Monday that the decision to terminate the gas deal was not a political one.
Abul Naga said Israel had been notified several times that it was not meeting its financial obligations while its last chance was until March 31.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu downplayed the move Monday, calling it a “commercial dispute” and that Israel has natural gas reserves “that will allow it to be energetically independent.”
U.S. has recently warned that its assistance to Egypt depends on sustaining the peace accords with Israel, yet did not list the gas agreement as one of the conditions.
U.S. assistance to Egypt sums up to about 1.3 billion dollars in military aid and an extra 300 million dollars in economic aid, Haaretz reported.