Egypt launches regional gas forum, includes Israel in fold

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt has hosted its first ever regional gas forum with several government delegations attending including the Israeli Energy Minister, in the first such official visit since its 2011 Arab Spring uprising.

Speaking Monday after attending the closed meeting in Cairo, Yuval Steinitz applauded the Egyptian initiative, saying that the discovery of gas in the Eastern Mediterranean and the establishment of an organization to coordinate its management are helping to bring countries together.

In a recent sign of warming ties between the former enemies, Israel will begin exporting gas to Egypt in two to three months as part of a $15 billion corporate deal signed last year, he said. The first batches will be from the Tamar field and, within ten months, the Leviathan field which will open later this year.

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