Saudi oil halt not linked to Egyptian stance on Syria - Sisi

Thursday 13-10-2016 06:35 PM

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during a seminar on Oct 10, 2016. ASWATMASRIYA

CAIRO, Oct 13 (Aswat Masriya) - President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi denied on Thursday that the suspension of Saudi oil shipments is linked to Egypt’s vote on two resolutions at the UN Security Council on Syria.

He said that Egypt does not have a problem with oil.

In a speech on Thursday, Sisi said that “there are attempts to pressure us and Egypt will not kneel except to God”.

He said that Egypt adopts an “independent” policy on Syria and stressed the importance of a political solution to the crisis. 

During the speech, Sisi called for respect for the Syrian people, the disarming of militant groups and the reconstruction of the Syrian state. He added that the Egyptian policy aims to protect the Arab national security.

Egypt voted on Saturday in favour of two draft resolutions on Syria, the first was backed by Russia and the second was backed by France.   

The Russian draft garnered only four votes including that of Egypt’s while the French resolution which called for immediate end of air strikes on Aleppo in Syria received 11 votes, but Russia vetoed the resolution. 

The Saudi envoy to the UN Abdullah al-Muallami criticised the Egyptian vote on the Russian resolutions and described Egypt’s stance as “painful”.

Citing a government official, Reuters reported that Saudi state-owned oil company Aramco informed Egypt’s oil company early in October that it would halt its petroleum product supply to Egypt. 

Last April, Saudi Arabia said it would provide Egypt with 700,000 tonnes of petroleum products over five years after a $23 billion deal was reached between Saudi Aramco and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC). 

Sisi said that the Egyptian voting on the Russian and French resolutions angered some. He added that both resolutions were calling for a ceasefire and agreeing on a truce to allow aid for the Syrian people.

He said that some observers imagined that stopping oil shipments from Saudi Arabia was “a response” to the Egyptian stance and stressed that “this is not true”.

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