Former deputy head of the Israeli National Security Council and Director of the Institute for Policy and Strategy Studies (IPS) Shaul Shay expressed concern toward negotiations between Egypt and France on the purchase of two new satellites.
Shay said, in a statement to Jerusalem Post Thursday, that the two satellites would enhance Egypt's ability to gather intelligence information.
Shay attributed Egypt's interest in the deal to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's aspirations of making Egypt a regional power.
Iran and Israel are the two major regional powers in the field of space technology, and Egypt seeks to join the club, Shay added.
In response to a question about the reason behind why Egypt seeks to buy the satellites from France, rather than Russia, he said that Egypt has learned not to depend on one state, following the malfunction of previous Russian satellites.
Shay claimed that Egypt seeks to watch developments in the Renaissance Dam construction in Ethiopia through the satellites.
The Israeli expert said, in an article published on the Israeli Defense Ministry website last Wednesday, that Egypt has two satellites, namely Egypt Sat 1 and Egypt Sat 2, but Egyptians seek to build Egypt Sat 3 by 2017 with financial assistance from China. He pointed out that the Egyptian-made materials are supposed to make up 60 percent of the satellite.
La Tribune newspaper reported last week that Egypt seeks to purchase two satellites from France to be used for military surveillance and communications purposes, adding that Sisi wants to conclude the deal quickly.