Very constructive and highly productive were the bilateral meetings of the Minister of Energy, Trade and Industry, Natasha Pileidou, with the Egyptian Ministers of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi, Petroleum Tarek el-Molla and Trade Nevin Gamea, in the framework of the first intergovernmental meeting between Cyprus and Egypt, which took place on Saturday 4 September 2021.
The Cypriot Minister is very pleased with the decisions taken in these meetings on a number of important policies being promoted between the two countries and expresses confidence that in the coming months many of these issues will make great progress.
In particular, in the energy sector, instructions were given by the Ministers concerned to speed up the work of the Joint Committee set up to implement the Intergovernmental Agreement on the construction of an undersea gas pipeline from the Aphrodite field in the Cypriot EEZ to Egypt. In this context, a meeting of the relevant technical committees has already been scheduled on 15 September 2021 in Cairo, which will examine various scenarios regarding the capacity, technical specifications, economic aspects and the route of the pipeline.
Both Cyprus and Egypt expressed their commitment to further promote the international organisation “East Mediterranean Gas Forum” (EMGF), in which the two countries participate as founding members. With the hard work done, in its one year of existence, the organisation has expanded, now counting 8 member countries and 3 observer members, including America and the European Union. “Cyprus has assured that, with the assumption of the EMGF Presidency from 1 January 2022, it will work in coordination with the Egyptian side to implement the common objectives for the efficient use of energy resources of the member countries and the transition to green energy,” says Natasha Pilidou.
One of the most important decisions of the Minister’s contacts the day before yesterday is the agreement that a Memorandum of Understanding for the Cyprus-Egypt electricity interconnection will be signed in the coming months. Natasha Pilidou invited her counterpart for an official visit to Cyprus to sign the MoU. Subsequently, the signing of a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding between Egypt-Cyprus-Greece is planned to promote the electrical interconnection of the three countries through the “EuroAfrica Interconnector” project.
Moreover, on the basis of the Cyprus-Egypt Agreement in the field of Electricity and Renewable Energy Sources, the exchange of know-how in these fields was agreed upon, particularly on the utilization of solar thermal and photovoltaic systems, as well as green hydrogen production.
In the field of trade, it was agreed that the organisation of business forums should be institutionalised at regular intervals in order to strengthen the links between the respective business chambers. The aim, according to Natasha Pilidou, is to increase trade in services and goods between the two countries, especially pharmaceutical preparations and aquaculture products. It was agreed that as a first stage, a business meeting will be organized in Cairo within the next few months, with the participation of Cypriot and Egyptian businessmen in areas of common interest./ibna