Jumana Ghunaimat

Why Go Back Now?

تم نشره في Tue 16 February / Feb 2016. 01:00 AM

Benjamin Netanyahu is lying to of Israeli Supreme Court, as he tries to confirm that Jordan has given up on ​​buying Israeli gas. What he is really attempting to do is, in fact, pressure the court to close the case against his government on the alleged basis that the delay in signing the agreement with the Kingdom is the reason why it is being cancelled by Jordan.

Locally, on the other hand, our government has kept silent and still prefers to not discuss the agreement, as if they are preparing us for the surprise of the season! Only the unintentional leak of a secret meeting in a hotels in Amman between technicians from both sides, the Jordanian government and “Noble Energy” —the company with Israeli gas privilege, brought things into perspective.

The Jordanian-Israeli negotiations on the import of Israeli gas continue. And speaking of official measurements, what the Government has done is only suspend the file until better leverage is attained in the negotiations with the Israeli government and the American gas company. They did not close it; Jordan is still negotiating better terms regarding pricing and quantities, because the standing offer is exploitative.

Eventually, the accuracy and completeness of information at hand depend mainly on leaks here and there. Therefore, nothing has been confirmed; the government has so far kept the public out of the picture in regards to the Israeli gas agreement, as well as to the development of alternative energy sources.

Following news published by "Al Ghad" about a week ago, on the secret Amman “Noble Energy” meet, a group of MPs submitted requests to take part in the negotiations with Israel. This actually constitutes an opportunity for the Government to make their official position public, and update the people on latest developments of the Jordan-Israel-“Noble Energy” negotiations.

Besides that, there is a third party with interests in the outcomes as well as progress of these negotiations; the United States. The US —through their embassy in Amman, is pressing the Jordanian Government to speed up the finalization and signing of the treaty, especially since the initial signing of the memorandum of agreement was the only actual step made towards finalization of the actual agreement.

Previously, when the agreement was first brought up, public opinion stood tough grounds on the matter —out of principle; Jordanians generally refused to even consider agreements of the sort on the aspect of economic normalisation with Israel, particularly in such a sensitive field.

Accordingly, recent developments in regards to progress made in the energy sectors locally, support popular positions regarding the proposed agreement. These achievements provide an efficient substitute to the unfair terms of the deal that serve the interests of other involved parties more than they do Jordan’s.

Notably, the Government has been successfully procuring gas from global markets sources through seaborne gas tankers without the need to purchase large quantities we may or may not be able to consume in the future. So what use is the Israeli-American gas treaty now that we are exporting gas to Egypt?

In short, we no longer need this particular source of energy, especially when there seems to be efficient and effective management, locally, of its procurement from other providers.

Were it once viable that we give in to signing this treatment to secure Jordan’s interest in this regard to dig the Country out of its deep trench since Egyptian supplies were repeatedly interrupted over the years, the situation now is totally different; we no longer need Egypt’s gas, for that matter.

Jordan has made considerable strides in renewable energy sectors —wind and solar energy mainly, as well as in regards to the Administration’s determination to pursue nuclear energy. It is possible that Jordan may achieve self-sufficient energy measures without the need to submit to any terms whatsoever.

 

Jordan has always dreamt about ridding itself from the pressures and complexities of its energy predicament. The government has repeatedly called for the implementation of an energy strategy of some sort that does not tie the country’s whole economy to a single energy source. And we have made considerable progress along these lines so far, why go back now?

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