3 Sep 2012 Zeinab El Gundy
Commander of Egyptian naval forces refutes Israeli press reports that Berlin had called off deal to sell cutting-edge German submarines to Egypt
The Egyptian Navy on Sunday denied recent claims by the Israeli media that the German government had called off plans to sell Egypt a pair of submarines due to pressure by the Tel Aviv regime.
Egypt's commander of naval forces issued a statement to Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website on Sunday in which he stressed that the only two parties involved in the deal were the Egyptian and German governments.
He added that Israeli media was trying to spread false rumours with the aim of destabilising Egypt, pointing out that the deal with Germany was progressing according to schedule.
Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronot claimed earlier on Sunday that the German government had decided not to ratify the purchase agreement with Egypt.
Ahmed El-Gendy, commander of the Egyptian Navy, told reporters that Egypt planned to upgrade its naval capacity by diversifying its sources of armaments. He went on to say that Egypt had acquired German-built Type-209 attack submarines in line with an agreement between Cairo and Berlin.
Following El-Gendy's statements, some Israeli officials warned the German government that, if it completed the submarine deal with Egypt, German-Israeli relations would suffer as a consequence.
In recent years, the self-proclaimed Jewish state has acquired a fleet of German-made Dolphin-class submarines, generally considered among the most advanced in the world.