CAIRO: Egypt has welcomed the UAE’s entry into the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), according to a spokesman for President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
Bassam Radi said the Egyptian leader had also expressed the importance of the added value that the UAE would bring to the group.
“The president welcomes the UAE's accession to the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum as an observer, along with the founding member states, expressing the importance of the added value that the UAE will contribute to the forum’s activities to serve strategic interests and enhance cooperation and partnership between the forum countries,” said Radi.
Talks were held on Wednesday between the Egyptian president and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed to discuss issues in the region and issues of cooperation between the two countries.
A high-level EMGF working group held its eighth meeting to discuss organizational matters to activate the forum's activities, including reviewing the position of the headquarters agreement to be concluded between Egypt and the forum, and procedures for adding new members and observers.
The Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum said the meeting also discussed the forum's road map during 2021. It included the work plan of the Gas Industry Advisory Committee and the detailed plans of its three technical, economic and organizational subcommittees.
The meeting approved the requests for two additional members to join the committee, bringing the number of members to 29 from the most important companies and institutions concerned with the region’s gas industry, compared to 16 members when it was launched in November last year.
It was the first meeting to be held after the final signing of the forum's charter by the seven founding countries — Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Israel, Jordan, Palestine and Egypt — in September and its ratification by Egypt’s parliament on Tuesday.
On Sept. 22, the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources announced the signing of a charter to convert the EMGF into a regional organization based in Cairo. The signing was attended by ministers of the forum.
The organization is interested in strengthening cooperation and developing the political dialogue on natural gas in order to contribute to the economic exploitation of the countries' reserves of the resource.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hami Aksoy, described the EMGF as an anti-Ankara bloc considering its transformation into an international organization.
Turkey is in a dispute with Greece over maritime and energy rights in the eastern Mediterranean.