EU, World Bank get EMGF observer status

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The importance of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum was highlighted during a virtual fifth Ministerial Meeting to launch its official website in a bid for global reach.

Members of the Forum are Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, and Palestine, while the US takes part as an observer.

The European Union and the World Bank were granted observer status after applying to the EMGF.

Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister of host country Egypt, Tarek el-Molla, said the Forum had evolved substantially in a short period in becoming an important platform with key objectives to ensure regional cooperation and welfare for the region.

Cyprus Energy Minister Natasa Pilides said the member countries, observers and gas industry advisors are a sign of the Forum’s true potential and the support it enjoys internationally.

She said launching the EMGF website was an “important milestone”.

“Cyprus is committed to our collective efforts to responsibly and efficiently monetize the eastern Mediterranean offshore gas discoveries whilst respecting the rights of members over their natural resources.”

French Minister of State for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, said the Forum is a unique institution that has accomplished a lot in a very short time.

Kostas Skrekas, Greek Minister of the Environment and Energy, said the Forum has a lot to gain from the vast experience of the US.

Referring to the EU and the World Bank’s request to join as observers, he said their participation would offer significant support.

Karine Elharrar, Israel’s Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, said the EMGF is a unique platform for regional stability.

“Together, we can deepen the Forum’s cooperation for a cleaner, more efficient energy future.”

Vannia Gava, Undersecretary of State of Italy, said the Forum “is an opportunity to strengthen our relations” and welcomed the progress in making the EMGF operational.

Hala Zawati, Jordanian Minister of Energy, said, “we are considering the request for participation as observer the EU and the World Bank after France joined as a full member indicates this forum’s importance”.

Mohammad Mustafa, the senior advisor for economic affairs of Palestine’s President, said that the request of the EU and the World Bank to join the Forum as observers is welcome.

Beth Urbanas, Acting Assistant Secretary US Department of Energy, said the Forum is a “platform that overcomes political boundaries to pursue a more peaceful future for the region”.

She said the Forum’s goals align with US President Biden’s agenda to tackle the climate emergency.

(Source CNA)