(Photo Credit: Reuters)
According to Israeli media reports on 6 March, a delegation representing Egypt’s Trade Ministry is set to visit Israel to sign food import agreements in the wake of food shortages in Egypt.
By 2023, Egypt’s national currency lost over half its value in less than a year, with annual inflation soaring to more than 20 percent, as basic essentials such as food and medicine doubled in price.
An anonymous source connected to the Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ) trade agreement told The New Arab that bilateral trade between Tel Aviv and Cairo is expected to increase within the coming months and will “include Israel exporting food produce to Egypt.”
This trade agreement was signed between the US, Israel, and Egypt in 2004, which allows the export of duty and tax-free products from Cairo to Washington on the condition that a specific percentage of the commodities is Israeli. The agreement, amended in 2017, entails that 10.5 percent of the exported commodities must be from Israel.
Despite Egypt’s and Israel’s efforts to bolster bilateral relations and trade, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Israel’s plan to “legalize” the construction of nine settlement outposts and housing units in the occupied territories of Palestine last month.
The ministry affirmed that this decision represents a “flagrant violation” of international law in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions, further adding that this decision is “unacceptable.” Over half a million Israelis live across 200 settlements in Palestinian territories, including several areas in the occupied West Bank.
Cairo and Tel Aviv normalized ties in 1980, making Egypt the first Arab country to normalize relations with Israel.
Egypt’s economic predicament worsened following unprecedented sanctions on Russia for its operation in Ukraine, which instigated the global energy crisis and widespread shortages.
In June 2022, Israel and Egypt signed an agreement where Tel Aviv will send natural gas to the north African state, as it has facilities for liquid natural gas (LNG) refinement.