The energy ministers of seven countries launched the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum on Monday in an effort to benefit from the energy-rich region, particularly natural gas resources. The forum's members are Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, and the organisation will have its headquarters in Cairo.
According to Egypt's Ministry of Petroleum, the forum aims to establish a regional gas market, reduce infrastructure costs and offer competitive prices. "The forum will support producing countries by enhancing their cooperation with consumer and transitory parties in the region," said a ministry statement. "It will take advantage of existing infrastructure and develop further infrastructure options to accommodate current and future discoveries."
Egypt hopes that its strategic location on both sides of the Suez Canal, its land bridge between Asia and Africa, and well-developed infrastructure will help turn it into a trade and distribution centre for countries in the region and beyond.