Arab states gave Egypt $4B worth of oil products in second half 2013

CAIRO: Egypt’s petroleum minister said Tuesday that Cairo had received $4 billion worth of petroleum products from Arab states from July through the end of December.

Egypt has struggled to pay for imports since a 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak and drove away tourists and foreign investors, two major sources of foreign currency.

Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail did not specify which countries had given the assistance in the second half of 2013.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait promised Egypt more than $12 billion in loans and donations days after the army toppled Islamist President Mohammad Morsi on July 3 following mass protests against his rule.

Ismail spoke to reporters from the Saudi capital, where Egypt’s interim prime minister is expected to meet with the Saudi finance minister.

Ismail had previously said that Egypt was discussing of further supplies with the three Gulf countries, but details had yet to be announced.

The Cairo government said in December it had received $2.48 billion worth of petrol aid to the end of November as part of the package.

Since Mubarak’s fall, Egypt has run through more than $20 billion in reserves. It has also delayed payments to oil companies and tried to reduce the cost of energy subsidies, which eat up 20 percent of all state expenditure.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 05, 2014, on page 5.




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