Egypt ready to buy fuel without Arab aid, says minister

Egypt is due to receive the last amount of free oil shipments, totaling $4 billion, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait in December.

Egypt ready to buy fuel without Arab aid, says minister

World Bulletin / News Desk

Egypt's Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail said that his government has a plan to provide needed oil products as of next year without aid from Arab countries.

Speaking during a visit to oil production sites in the canal province of Port Said Ismail said the government has two plans for providing petroleum products for next year.

Egypt is due to receive the last amount of free oil shipments, totaling $4 billion, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait in December.

The aid has helped bring considerable stability to the petroleum market since the ouster on July 3 of Egypt's elected president Mohamed Morsi.

Ismail said the Egyptian government had requested extra funding for petroleum imports from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, but has not received a reply yet.

"We are ready to provide the necessary funds for the imports if they declined," Ismail said.

Egypt imports petroleum products to the value of $1.3 billion every month. The Arab world's most populous country had coughed up 128.3 billion pounds (20% of its overall budget) last year to subsidize fuel for its citizens.

Expert Mahmoud Abdel-Rahman described Arab oil aid as "very vital".

"If the government depends on itself in providing petroleum products, it will consume its foreign currency reserves like what happened after the January 25 revolution," he told Anadolu Agency.

Egypt's foreign currency reserves fell in June to $14.5 billion from $36 billion in December 2010.

Egypt has received $15.9 billion in aid from UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to shore up its economy following Morsi's ouster.

Last Mod: 23 Kasım 2013, 10:46
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