In 1993, following the 1993 Oslo Agreements between the Israelis and Palestinians which Mubarak helped broker, Israel and Egypt began work on a gas pipeline to supply the former with natural gas and to build a petroleum refinery in Sinai, the first privately owned refinery in the Arab Middle East. Mubarak awarded Salem licenses to work on both projects. Salem's relations with Israeli business circles dates back to the 1970s during his tenure at the Washington D.C. embassy, including when the Israelis and Egyptians were negotiating Camp David. In 1996, Salem sold most of his shares in the new refinery company, Midor, and made a substantial profit. In 2007, he sold most of his shares in the East Mediterranean Gas Company, a year before the pipeline actually pumped any gas. According to The New York Times, Israel gained 40% of its gas needs from below-market price Egyptian gas exports. The Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonoth described Salem as the "number one man" of the normalization process between the two states.Video Title: Egypt's Lost power: Hussein Salem. Source: Al Jazeera. Date Published: June 9.
Salem fled Egypt on 3 February 2011 during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. A warrant for his arrest was issued by the International Criminal Police (Interpol) in May 2011. He was later arrested at his home in La Moraleja, Madrid, Spain on 14 June. Salem investigated for corruption, on charges he bribed Mubarak and his family to gain a monopoly on the sale of gas to Israel, and for squandering public funds by selling Egyptian natural gas to Israel at below market prices. Salem's trial in Egypt began on 3 August 2011, However, Salem still resides in Spain due to the Spanish authorities refusal to extradite him.