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Natasa Pilides: EMGF Open To Every Country That Shares Same Principles

Natasa Pilides: EMGF Open To Every Country That Shares Same Principles

The East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) is open to all countries that have an interest in the region and who share the same principles, as long as all the founding members agree unanimously for their participation, Energy Minister Natasa Pilides has said.

Pilides was speaking to the Media after the online signing ceremony of the EMGF, which took place at the Presidential Palace.

The founding members of the forum are Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

She said that this is a particularly important day for the seven founding members who have signed the statute and expressed hope that this day will be the beginning of a very close cooperation between these countries. She noted that in addition to the founding countries, companies from these countries also participate in committees where they have an ongoing dialogue on trade issues.

"We hope that this effort will allow our region to make the best possible use of natural gas, always taking into account the environmental objectives and the responsible exploitation," she said.

Pilides recalled that various countries can become observers and said that there is already interest and there has been significant support from both the US and France in these efforts as well as the EU, which was present at the ceremony.

The goal, the Minister noted, is to jointly exploit the natural resources that initially concern the natural gas, while there is also the intention to consider whether other discussion points can be added in the second stage within the organization, such as electricity, and renewable energy.

Concluding, she said that there is a great range of cooperation and expressed belief that soon they will promote cooperation for other means of energy as well.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Ambassador to Cyprus Mai Taha Khalil, whose country took the initiative to create the Forum, was present at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday where the ceremony took place. Speaking to the media after the ceremony, the Ambassador said that these countries chose to have gas as a unifying catalyst for cooperation in the region instead of fighting over it.


She noted that the speed by which this agreement was signed is exceptional, saying that it was done in about a year and this shows the will and insistence of the leaders of this region to cooperate and develop for the prosperity of the people of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Asked if this alliance is also a political one, she said that everything is political in this region, adding that political will is always needed to push things forward and then the bureaucrats can finalise and move things forward.

Asked if she believes that Turkey can join this group given the tensions it causes in the region, she reiterated that they are not excluding anyone to join this group as long as they abide by the values and principles of the founders. The group, she said, was not established to have a coalition against anyone, rather it is a group for coalition.




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