Founding members of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) announced on Tuesday bringing the forum’s statute into force starting March in a ministerial meeting in the Egyptian capital.
The energy ministers of all member states of the EMGF; Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, and Israel attended their first ministerial meeting in Cairo today, a statement by the Egyptian petroleum ministry read.
Established in 2019 as an international organisation headquartered in Cairo, the forum aims to establish a regional gas market in the eastern Mediterranean and enhance trade relations among the member states.
Cyprus, as the first founding member in alphabetical order, will take the first presidency term in January next year, the statement read.
The ministers, during the meeting, have adopted the EMGF work programme for this year.
The programme “compiles the main milestones targeted on both the organisational setup’s finalisation, together with the gas cooperation activities, including studies, initiatives, and workshops,” the statement read.
The meeting discussed developing a long-term strategy for the forum and launching two new initiatives on gas decarbonisation and liquified natural gas as a fuel for ships, in line with the environmental global trends, the statement added.
Therefore, dedicated working groups of experts will be formed to prepare the long-term strategy. Also, a work group will be formed for each of the two initiatives.
The ministers reviewed requests by other countries willing to join the forum. They have welcomed France to join the forum as a member state and the United States to join as an observer.
The ministers agreed to hold their next ministerial meeting also in Cairo during the last quarter of 2021.
During the meeting, Osama Mobarez, undersecretary at the petroleum ministry, was appointed as acting secretary-general of the EMGF.
The forum will contribute to developing a sustainable regional gas market and maximising the use of gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean region with full respect of the member states’ right over their natural resources in accordance with international law, the ministers said.
They reaffirmed that the forum would serve as a platform for a structured policy dialogue on natural gas, the statement said.