Businessman Hussein Salem – on the run from corruption charges in Egypt – admitted his personal & political motivations in signing Egypt’s controversial gas export deals with Israel (via pipeline) and Spain (via Damietta LNG), in discussion with Egyptian journalist Mohamed Heikal:
“Yes I made gas deals with Israel. We have a lot of gas in Egypt and can export it. I made an agreement with Israel which had political undertones,” Salem reportedly told Heikal.“As for sending gas to Spain — well I owe them, because they gave me Spanish citizenship and welcomed me and my family.”
The “gas to Spain” is exported via the Damietta LNG plant and sold to Union Fenosa, owned 50% by Italian oil company ENI. Damietta LNG was financed in part by the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Egypt has issued an Interpol warrant for Hussein Salem, who fled Egypt days before Mubarak’s downfall, with suitcases containing hundreds of thousands in foreign currency. Salem is currently in Spain, awaiting extradition hearings.