Intelligence chief ordered gas exports to Israel
Mesbah Kotb Lubna Salah Eddin Sun, 26/06/2011 - 18:32
Al-Masry Al-Youm has obtained 30 secret documents relating to the gas export deal struck between Israel and the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, some of which implicate former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman in arranging the deal.
The documents include letters exchanged between senior Egyptian officials, the Egyptian Petroleum Ministry, and officials in Israel. They reveal the pivotal roles that were played by former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, former Prime Minister Atef Ebeid and former Petroleum Minister Sameh Fahmy in concluding the deal.
According to the documents, Suleiman sent Fahmy a handwritten letter on 19 January, 2000, informing him of the time schedule for gas exports to Israel and Turkey. Attached to the letter was a document labelled top secret, indicating that East Mediterranean Gas (EMG), the company owned by Mubarak’s confidant Hussein Salem, had been chosen to undertake the operation.
On 26 January, 2004, Suleiman sent Fahmy another secret letter, attached to which was a document empowering Fahmy, in his capacity as petroleum minister, to authorize the presidents of the Petroleum Authority and the EMG to sign the final contract, which he also attached to the letter, asking him to send him back a copy of his ministerial decree in this regard.
On 20 April, 2005, Suleiman also sent Fahmy a secret letter along with a memorandum of understanding, informing him that Israeli Minister of Infrastructure Binyamin Ben-Eliezer was willing to sign it. And in another letter, Suleiman told Fahmy that the EMG was requesting the ministry to confirm that it would supply it with gas in 2011 before it signs any new contracts with Israel.