Date published: April 7, 2011
Journal code: JWEX
JERUSALEM (JTA) - Egypt's new foreign minister said the days of Israel getting cheap gas and strategic benefits are over.
In an interview Sunday on Egyptian television, Nabil al-Arabi said that Egypt will demand that Israel pay the difference between the reduced prices it received and market value on the natural gas it purchased under deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Arabi also threatened to review and amend security arrangements agreed to in the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty, but he stressed that the two countries would have to agree on any changes.
"We will stick to all of the treaties we signed, and we will demand that they keep their side of the deal," he said, before adding that "we will not be a 'strategic treasure' for Israel as they used to say during the time of Mubarak. We will only abide by the treaties."
The foreign minister stressed that the Egyptian government continues to play an important role in the Middle East peace process, and said that "the Palestinians want peace, but Israel has not yet met their demands."
Egyptian media reported over the weekend that Arabi also said that he would work to renew diplomatic ties with Iran since he did not consider it an enemy state.