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Firm behind disputed UAE-Eilat oil pipeline: Ministries don’t have right to see deal

17 3 7

The head of state company that inked a contentious deal with the United Arab Emirates to transport its oil from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean defended the secrecy surrounding the deal on Monday, telling a Knesset committee that he had no legal obligation to share details of the agreement.

So far, no government ministry has seen the contract inked last year between the Europe Asia Pipeline Company and the Red Med consortium of Israeli and United Arab Emirates businesspeople. This is despite frequent concerns raised by various ministries and environmental groups of the potential impact of a spill on the country’s environment, public health and tourism.

On Monday, EAPC’s CEO, Itzik Levy, told the Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee that government ministries never get to see agreements signed with foreign companies. The only approval required was from the EAPC’s board of directors, he said, which included the Finance Ministry’s Accountant General and representatives of the ministry’s Government Companies Authority.

Ariel Evelin, a senior deputy at the Government Companies Authority, further explained that the state could only intervene in the business of a state company in a handful of circumstances set out in the Government Companies Law. In this case, the authority did not believe that the government had a case to get involved, he said.

Evelin said that when the Red Med deal was inked, it did not contravene any government or environmental protection ministry policy at that time and that the EAPC was behaving........

© The Times of Israel

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