Middle East Monitor – The seven member states of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum have officially turned it into a regional organisation headquartered in the Egyptian capital Cairo.
The charter was signed by Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla, Cypriot Minister of Energy, Trade and Industry Natasa Pilides, Greek Minister of Environment and Energy Konstantinos Hatzidakis, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, Italian Minister of Economic Development Alessandra Todde, and Jordan Minister of Energy Hala Zawati.
The United States and the European Union have asked to be observers while France has asked to become a full member.
The forum says it aims to establish economic and commercial partnerships between member states to invest in the gas discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean region as a means to lay the foundations of peace and stability.
El-Molla revealed yesterday that 320 trillion cubic feet of gas were discovered in the Eastern Mediterranean region which could turn the area into a global centre for the gas industry.
The forum was launched in January 2019 to reinforce cooperation among member states.
However, a spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Hami Aksoy, described the forum as an anti-Ankara bloc, adding that transforming it into a regional organisation is “far from reality”.