Jordan defends gas deal with Israel

The agreement will cut $600 mln a year from the state’s energy bill, says minister

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Jordan on Monday defended its deal to buy Israeli natural gas that has stirred public opposition, insisting the accord would not leave the Arab country reliant on the Jewish state.

Information Minister Mohamed Momani, who is also government spokesman, told Jordanian television that the deal would cut $600 million a year from the state’s energy bill.

“We will not be dependent on Israel,” he said.

Momani said the government was seeking to diversify its sources of gas supplies.

It was “too simplistic to say that sealing such a deal means the kingdom is supporting Israeli occupation,” he said, referring to the occupied Palestinian territories.

Hundreds of Jordanians took part in a demonstration on Friday in the center of Amman to protest against the deal signed on September 26 to import natural gas from Israel.

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