Israel discusses energy with four Arab countries

Israel’s energy minister held a video conference call with his counterparts in the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Sudan and Bahrain for the first time on Thursday.
Friday 15/01/2021
Photo of the video conference, January 14, 2021. (Twitter)
Photo of the video conference, January 14, 2021. (Twitter)

JERUSALEM--Israel’s energy minister held a video conference call with his counterparts in the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Sudan and Bahrain for the first time on Thursday, according to a statement from his office.

The Israeli minister, Yuval Steinitz, said the conference call discussed recently normalised ties and what impact there could be on sectors including oil and gas, renewable energy and research and development, the statement said.

“There is no doubt that the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum in Cairo that I initiated” – with Egyptian Energy Minister Tarek al-Mulla – “two-and-a-half years ago is now paving the way for more cooperation on renewable energy, research and development and the possibility to connect electric grids in the near future,” Steinitz said.

The four Arab states, in deals brokered by the United States, have agreed to set aside hostilities with Israel.

Also on the call were energy ministers from the United States and Egypt. Cairo made peace with Israel in 1979.

“The ministers discussed how diplomatic relations between the countries could revolutionise national security, economic prosperity and adding content to the peace agreements, including investments in energy research and development, deploying infrastructure and technology,” the statement said.

Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz displays the signed agreement during the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), in Cairo, on January 16, 2020. (AFP)
Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz displays the signed agreement during the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), in Cairo, on January 16, 2020. (AFP)

Earlier in December, energy ministers of Israel, the United States, the UAE and Bahrain participated in a quadruple virtual meeting, with the goal to establish a platform for a comprehensive dialogue on energy issues.

The meeting’s goal, according to reports, was to establish a platform for a comprehensive dialogue on energy issues.

The new platform aims to facilitate the exchange of ideas and the creation of joint ventures in the fields of petrol, natural gas, electricity, efficient use of energy, renewable energies, research and development and more.

The ministers said at the time they hope for other countries in the region to join the platform in the future, once these countries establish ties with Israel.

They also said the group intends to study possible solutions on energy sources, electricity, infrastructure and technology.