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Cairo Received $4 Billion Worth of Petroleum Products

Source: Reuters 2/4/2014, Location: Africa

Egypt's petroleum minister said that Cairo had received $4 billion worth of petroleum products from Arab states from July through the end of December.

Egypt has struggled to pay for imports since a 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak and drove away tourists and foreign investors, two major sources of foreign currency.

Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail did not specify which countries had given the assistance in the second half of 2013.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait promised Egypt more than $12 billion in loans and donations days after the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi on July 3 following mass protests against his rule.

Ismail spoke to reporters from the Saudi capital, where Egypt's interim prime minister is expected to meet with the Saudi finance minister.

Ismail had previously said that Egypt was discussing further supplies with the three Gulf Arab countries, but details had yet to be announced.

The Cairo government said in December it had received $2.48 billion worth of petrol aid up to the end of November as part of the aid package.

Since Mubarak's fall, Egypt has run through more than $20 billion in reserves. It has also delayed payments to oil companies and tried to reduce the cost of energy subsidies which eat up 20 percent of all state expenditure.

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