Egypt's gas pipeline to Israel
Israel on Monday rushed to downplay the significance of Egypt cancelling its gas export deal with the Jewish state, casting it as a "commercial dispute" with no impact on their diplomatic ties."We don't
see this cut-off of the gas as something that is born out of political developments," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a meeting of heads of the Israel Bonds fundraising organisation on Monday.
"It's actually a business dispute between the Israeli company and the Egyptian company," Netanyahu's office quoted him as saying.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said: "The deal to supply gas is not part of the peace deal, but it is an important commercial deal that was an expression of the stable ties between the states".
"The unilateral cancellation of the deal is not a good sign, and we hope that this dispute will be resolved like any other commercial dispute, without taking it to the political realm," Lieberman told public radio from Azerbaijan where he is on a visit.
This follow on from Sunday’s announcement by Egypt that it has terminated a long-term deal to supply Israel with gas after the cross-border pipeline sustained months of sabotage since a revolt last year.
Ampal-American Israel Corporation, a partner in the East Mediterreanean Gas Company, which operates the pipeline, said it had notified Egypt it was "terminating the gas and purchase agreement".
The company said in a statement that "EMG considers the termination attempt unlawful and in bad faith, and consequently demanded its withdrawal", and that EMG, Ampal, and EMG's other international shareholders were "considering their options and legal remedies as well as approaching the various governments."