Egypt concerned UAE-Israeli pipeline project will affect Suez Canal

Egypt concerned UAE-Israeli pipeline project will affect Suez Canal
An Egyptian soldier stands guard during an organized tour for diplomats to mark the 150th anniversary of the inauguration of the Suez Canal, in the northeastern city of Ismailia, Egypt, Nov. 17, 2019. Photo by Khaled Desouki/AFP via Getty Images.

AL-MONITOREgyptian officials have been expressing concern over the anticipated competition from the Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline project that would transport Emirati oil to Ashkelon in Israel and from there to European markets.

CAIRO — The head of the Egyptian Suez Canal Authority (SCA), Osama Rabie, expressed Jan. 29 his country’s concern over the Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline project between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel.

The project will allow Israel to transport Emirati oil to its Ashkelon port and from there to European markets.

In statements to the Egyptian TV channel Sada al-Balad, Rabie said that Egypt is closely following up on the project, given its direct impact on ships passing through the Suez Canal.

He noted that any maritime transport project in parallel to the Suez Canal will have a significant impact on maritime traffic passing through the canal. The SCA is currently conducting studies to discuss ways to confront the Israeli-UAE project, which could decrease traffic through the Suez Canal by up to 16%, he warned.

Rabie continued, “Egypt has entered into a partnership with China in maritime transport on the Silk Road, which consists of three land, air and sea lines. The ships passing on the Silk Road will pass through the Suez Canal.” This partnership, he argued, would curb the effect of the Ashkelon project or any alternative routes for the Suez Canal.