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EU In Conference With Southern Energy Partners

EU meets its southern energy partners in Egypt

On 1 November 2007, the European Commission and the Arab Republic of Egypt will bring together for the first time key energy players from the EU and the South to debate common challenges and policies in the field of energy security.

The EU-Africa-Middle East Energy Conference will be held in Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt) and will be hosted by the External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arab republic of Egypt, Ahmed Aboul Gheit with the participation of Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.

It is an opportunity for participants from the EU, Africa and the Middle East to discuss co-operation in enhancing regional energy security, addressing climate change and improving access to energy services.

By identifying issues of common interest and areas for trans-regional co-operation in the energy sector for hydrocarbons and renewables, as well as energy efficiency, the Conference will provide an added value to the existing Euro-Mediterranean energy cooperation and the EU-GCC energy cooperation.

Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said: “When the EU thinks of energy security it looks not only East but also South. We are determined to expand our network of energy partners by building on bilateral partnerships and regional initiatives. With this conference we aim to identify a limited number of targeted trans-regional initiatives to develop together for the benefit of enhanced energy security in all the regions concerned. In this context; Egypt can play a key role as a bridge between our energy partners in Africa and the Middle East.”

"A comprehensive Africa-Europe Energy partnership is one of the priorities for a real European Foreign Energy Policy. The energy developments that will take place in Europe over the next two decades represent real opportunities for both", said Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.

The agenda includes key contributions from Commissioner Piebalgs, Sameh Fahmi, Minister of Petroleum of the Arab Republic of Egypt and Hassan Ahmed Younes, Minister of Electricity and Energy of the Arab Republic of Egypt, as well as Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Energy from Africa, the Middle East and the EU and representatives from the international financial institutions and regional and international organisations.

The results of the Conference will be taken into consideration by the EU-Africa Energy Partnership that will be launched on the occasion of the EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon in December 2007.

ENDS

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