The EU has signed an agreement on gas supplies with Israel and Egypt.

"This is a big step forward for Europe's energy supply," von der Leyen said at a press conference with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo on Wednesday.

The agreement provides for natural gas to be transported from Israel to Egypt, liquefied there and then delivered to Europe.

Von der Leyen said that the EU wanted to end "dependence on fossil fuels from Russia" by intensifying cooperation with the two Mediterranean countries.

Israel has been delivering gas from its deposits to Europe via Egypt since 2020, after the two countries signed a corresponding agreement.

In order to increase exports to Europe, however, significant investments are required.

In Cairo, von der Leyen also pledged to set up a nutrition fund worth 100 million euros for Egypt - and to provide a total of three billion euros for programs to promote water supply, agriculture and food security for the region in the coming years.

Egypt imports 80 percent of its grain from Ukraine and Russia.

This makes it one of the countries that are particularly hard hit by blocked grain deliveries from Ukraine and increased food prices as a result of the Russian war of aggression.

Von der Leyen sees the agreement for Egypt as an opportunity to become a "regional energy hub".

There is also great potential for the country to export renewable energy.