East Med Gas Forum to become international body

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Cyprus Energy Minister is in Egypt to sign an agreement to enable the fledgeling East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) becoming a recognised international body.

Lakkotrypis will attend the EMGF ministerial meeting, during which he will sign the Foundation Charter of the Forum along with his counterparts from Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan and Palestine.

The Forum will also be attended by representatives of the European Commission, the US government and the World Bank.

The energy forum believes gaining international status will earn it more respect and influence to promote the regions gas reserves.

Lakkotrypis said such a development was necessary in order for East Med gas to be competitive and member states were discussing issues on the preferred infrastructure for the optimal exploitation of that wealth.

After Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, he said that participants will be focusing on drafting a charter which will also be sent to the EU for its comments since three of the seven participant countries are EU members (Cyprus, Greece, Italy).

He noted that a World Bank study on exploitation options of natural gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean will be put before the EMGF summit.

“One of the main goals of the East Med Gas Forum is precisely to create a platform of dialogue on the energy between countries, whether they are producers, distributors or consumers, in order to find the best ways to exploit natural gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean,” the minister said.

Asked whether regional politics will be a factor, Lakkotrypis said that “unavoidably this will be the case, as regional developments will be discussed”.

The forum was established in January 2019, with seven energy ministers deciding on 25 July in Cairo that they would form a committee to elevate the forum to the level of an international organisation.

The third ministerial meeting will also discuss the East Med Gas Infrastructure Corridor and the results of the deliberations of the Gas Industry Advisory Committee of the Forum.