Jan 14, 2019 07:07 Asia/Tehran
  • Israeli Energy minister Yuval Steinitz
    Israeli Energy minister Yuval Steinitz

Israeli Energy minister Yuval Steinitz arrived in Cairo late on Sunday following invitation from Cairo to attend at a regional forum on natural gas, a major issue of cooperation between the Egypt and Israeli regime.

Iran Press/Africa: Ties between Egypt and Israel have gotten closer in recent years, with Cairo reaching deals with Israel over the purchase of natural gas.

Last year, Egyptian company Dolphinus inked a deal to buy $15bn worth of natural gas from the Israeli company Delek Drilling and its US partner Noble, Al Jazeera reported.

The "development of gas fields has geopolitical and geostrategic value," Steinitz told Israeli army radio leading up to the trip.

This natural gas as a geopolitical and geostrategic tools created by Israel, Egypt, Jordan, along with European countries participation.

"Steinitz's invitation to the conference in Egypt is the positive outcome of the gas agreement," a source close to Israeli energy minister told the AFP news agency.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to bolster ties with the Arab world.

Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab nations to officially recognize Israel, but relations between Israel and the Persian Gulf Arab countries have also warmed in recent months.

Saudi Arabia's crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman (known by his initials MBS), met with several Jewish groups and pro-Israel lobbies during a trip to the US last year and went so far as to declare that Israel had the right to its own land alongside Palestinians.

last week, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi told US broadcaster CBS that his country was cooperating with Israel against armed groups in the Sinai Peninsula, a potentially damaging acknowledgement that analysts said could explain the government's request that the network not air the interview.

In the interview, Sisi was asked if his country's cooperation with Israel was the closest ever between the two countries. "That is correct ... We have a wide range of cooperation with the Israelis," he responded.

Egypt's military was forced to deny reports last year that it and Israel were cooperating in the fight against the local chapter of the ISIS group in northern Sinai, bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Most Egyptians view Israel as their sworn enemy with trade unions and most political parties vehemently opposed to the "normalization" of relations with Israel.

However, since ousting of Mohamed Morsi - Egypt's first democratically elected president, in a coup in 2013, Sisi has met at least twice with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to the Zionist outlet Haaretz newspaper, Netanyahu secretly flew to Cairo last year to discuss the countries' plans for the Gaza Strip. 101/205


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