Egypt Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla argues that natural gas can act as a catalyst in the promotion of peace and stability in the East Med region.
El Molla was speaking during a meeting with Cyprus House speaker Demetris Syllouris, on an official visit to Cairo heading a parliamentary delegation.
He said that an East Mediterranean Gas Forum which had its first gathering in January involving Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Israel, Jordan and Palestine has attracted interest from the United States and France and added that its second meeting will take place within June.
On the East Mediterranean Gas Forum, El Molla said “our target is together to be an alternative, reliable source of gas to Europe, whether through pipelines or LNG cargoes.”
He expressed the belief that the forum and natural gas have the potential to act as a catalyst for peace and stability in the region.
On cooperation between Cyprus and Egypt in the energy sector he said that “we have made very good progress over the last few years” with ratification by both Parliaments of an agreement for the construction of a pipeline from Aphrodite in block 12 to Egypt.
The second step, according to El Molla, after the natural gas is transported to Egypt it could be used for its local market or liquefied and exported to the rest of the world.
More natural gas will mean, he said, “more added value”, more related industries.
Syllouris assured that the Parliament of Cyprus will fast-track any necessary legislation which has to do with the cooperation between the two countries in the field of energy. “It will be a priority for us,” he said.
He said Cypriot MPs will also monitor the government in order to ensure that all ongoing projects or plans are been implemented in a timely way.
President of the Foreign Affairs Committee and President of the Egypt / Cyprus Friendship Group Karim Darwish also assured of the “commitment of the Egyptian Parliament, in parallel to the commitment of the Cypriot Parliament, to do whatever possible to get the two countries even closer together in all aspects but in particular in this very important field of oil & gas.”
Source: Financial Mirror