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Cyprus to chair East Med Gas Forum

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Cyprus will assume the first official Presidency of the Cairo-based Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) on January 2022, following Egypt’s inaugural term.

It was decided at the fourth ministerial EMGF meeting in Cairo on Tuesday attended by Cyprus’ Energy Minister Natasa Pilides and her Egyptian, Greek, Israeli, Italian, Jordanian and Palestinian counterparts.

They adopted its  statute and two new initiatives on ‘Gas Decarbonisation’ and ‘LNG as a fuel for vessels’.

EMGF Members will form working groups of experts for developing the strategy on each of the initiatives.

Ministers also agreed to welcome France as an EMGF member Country and the United States as an observer.

Tarek El Molla, Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, welcomed Pilides on the occasion of the official launch of EMGF as a full-fledged intergovernmental organisation based in Cairo.

According to the EMGF declaration, ministers acknowledged the significant milestone for the serious steps and successive achievements realised since the Forum’s launch in January 2019.

The Founding Members also reaffirmed EMGF objectives as a platform for structured policy dialogue on natural gas.

EMGF hopes to develop a sustainable regional gas market, unlocking the full gas resources potential in the Eastern Mediterranean region, fully respecting the rights of its Members over their natural resources according to international law.

The founding members agreed to convene the next Ministerial Meeting in Cairo during the last quarter of 2021.

Pilides was satisfied with the outcomes of the EMGF meeting in Cairo, especially the decision that Cyprus will preside over the Forum from January 1, 2022.

She said it was vital that France also became a full member, and the US will participate as an observer.

The Cairo-based EMGF was established by seven founding states, Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan and Palestinian Authority, aiming to unlock the region’s full gas resource potential and monetise their reserves.

Founded in January 2019, the EMGF is a regional intergovernmental organisation to promote cooperation among its members for sustainable, effective and environmentally conscious development of natural gas reserves.