Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed visited Cairo Dec. 17 for talks with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. A presidential statement said the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has joined the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) as an observer.
“Sisi [underlined] the importance of the added value that the UAE will contribute to the forum’s activities to serve the strategic interests and enhance cooperation and partnership between the forum countries,” the statement said.
The EMGF was established as an intergovernmental organization by Egypt, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Jordan and Palestine. Founders say the forum aims to facilitate talks among Mediterranean countries about exporting natural gas, cooperating on various energy issues and advancing the construction of an undersea pipeline that would transfer gas to the south of Europe.
France has applied to join the Cairo-based forum, while the United States and the European Union requested observer status.
Energy-hungry Turkey has denounced the EMGF as an attempt to exclude it from the gas equation in the Eastern Mediterranean. In August, Ankara dispatched its seismic survey vessel, Oruc Reis, into a disputed area in the Eastern Mediterranean to search for oil and gas deposits, triggering an outcry from NATO member Greece and the EU.