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Egyptian minister makes rare visit to Israel to talk energy cooperation

Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and Egyptian minister Tarek el-Molla in Jerusalem on February 21, 2021. (Kobi Gideon / GPO)
Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and Egyptian minister Tarek el-Molla in Jerusalem on February 21, 2021. (Kobi Gideon / GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hosting Egypt’s energy minister, the first public visit by a senior Egyptian government official in five years.

Netanyahu tells Tarek el-Molla that the discovery of gas in the Mediterranean is an “amazing opportunity” for cooperation between Israel, Egypt and other countries on energy and other matters.

He calls the visit an “important day” for the countries’ relationship and says there is enough gas for both to supply their own citizens and become major exporters.

El-Molla says that he is looking forward to talks over the multinational gas forum, which comprises Israel, Egypt, Cyprus, Greece and the Palestinian Authority.

The meeting comes as Israel is dealing with a major oil spill, which has highlighted activists’ fears of environmental damage due to energy exploitation in the eastern Mediterranean.

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