Egyptian Oil Minister Tarek El Molla praised the signing of the charter of the founding of the East Med Gas Forum by Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan and Palestine as a “historic moment” for the Mediterranean cooperation
France requested to join the EMGF, which aims to develop the region’s gas market and become an international body.
Cyprus Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis said it is an example of how countries, even in difficult circumstances, can form alliances for the benefit of the people of the region.
He made the comments after the ministerial summit of the East Med Gas Forum in Cairo and the signing of the Forum letter.
El Molla said that the signing of the letter constitutes “a cornerstone in the history of our region that will lead us to cooperate for the benefit of our peoples.”
Lakkotrypis said the signing of the statute of the East Med Gas Forum is an example of how several countries, even in difficult circumstances, can form beneficial alliances.
He referred to the progress made in a planned pipeline that will connect Cyprus with Egypt, as another example of how cooperation between countries can contribute to regional prosperity.
The Greek Minister of Energy and Environment, Kostis Hadjidakis, also called it a “historical moment for the entire Mediterranean region.”
He said that all countries participating in the EMGF agreed that natural gas can be used as a tool for peace and not for conflict creation.
Hadjidakis also noted the importance of all decisions based on international law, which all countries in the region should accept.
The forum held its third meeting on Thursday in Cairo after being established last year as part of efforts to transform the Eastern Mediterranean into an important energy center.
The United States has also asked to become a permanent observer.
The forum, among other things, aims to reduce infrastructure costs and ensure competitive prices for gas in the region.
Egypt, which began importing Israeli gas on Wednesday for a possible re-export to Europe or Asia, is promoting itself as a key player in regional trade.
El Molla expressed great satisfaction at the fact that France has requested to participate in the forum and the continuous and solid support of the United States.
The Forum hopes to guarantee cheaper natural gas transportation which, in turn, will mean that it will be cheaper for consumers.
Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz also said that the EMGF is an example of cooperation for the benefit of the region.
The next ministerial summit will take place in the second half of 2020.