Written by Mai Wagdi:
The ministers of energy in seven countries (Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Italy) met on Monday, 14 January, and agreed on the establishment of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), and to be based in Cairo.
The forum aims at:
– Securing the rights of members in their natural resources in accordance with the principles of international law
– Establishment of a regional gas market in which the surplus gas is directed to the countries that needs it, so as to serve the interests of the members
– Developing gas resources in the member states, rationalizing the cost of its infrastructure, selling gas at competitive prices, and improving trade relations.
The seven ministers accept the membership of any Eastern Mediterranean gas producing or consuming countries, or transit countries, who agree with the Forum in interests and objectives. They also accept other states or regional/ international organizations as observers.
The ministers also stressed that the large offshore gas discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean will support development of energy and economic development in the region, and that the expansion of new discoveries and the optimal utilization will ensure energy security of member states.
The ministers agreed to start official talks about the structure and details of the forum at the next meeting scheduled for April 2019.