"Potential presidential candidate Amr Moussa on Sunday defended his decision to approve natural gas exports to Israel while he was foreign minister during the reign of former president Hosni Mubarak.
Moussa described the decision as “a political trick.” An Egyptian newspaper recently revealed that in 1993, Moussa signed a document, addressed to the petroleum minister, approving the sale of gas to Israel.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Moussa said the move was intended to bolster the position of Arab negotiators after the 1991 Madrid Conference. He said approving gas exports was a gesture to show Israel what benefits it could reap from peace with Arabs. Peace negotiations between Arabs and Israelis started in Madrid in 1991 but were not successful, pushing Palestinians to enter into secret negotiations with Israel in Oslo. Moussa said Egyptian diplomacy played a key role in the Madrid Conference and the ensuing negotiations. He added that his decision was "a political trick that involved no concessions to Israel." He said it was meant to lead to Israeli concessions for the Palestinians in particular and the Arabs in general.
Moussa criticized the Egyptian Foreign Ministry for leaking out this document and called for the entire dossier to be revealed to the public, so people learn about his real position on the matter." (thanks "Ibn Rushd")