(ANSAmed) - NAPLES, FEBRUARY 18 - The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) have signed an agreement drawing up lines of cooperation between the two organizations on projects of interest to both in the energy sector. ''This agreement,'' IEA director Fatih Birol said, ''is in line with the IAE objective of expanding bilateral energy programs both with individual countries and with inter-governmental organizations such as the UfM. Together we will identify the challenges and opportunities that, I am sure, can be best pursued through joint action and collective responsibility.'' UfM secretary general Fathallah Sijilmassi said that ''strengthening regional cooperation in the energy sector is of primary importance to improve integration, stability and human development in the region. The agreement with the IEA is a clear opportunity to develop synergies and implement joint actions that can contribute to reaching these shared objectives''. The two parties involved, according to a statement released, share the same aims and have together identified a series of potential areas of cooperation, including joint research and technical assistance projects as well as collaboration on publications, data exchange, education, Euro-Mediterranean cooperation on energy efficiency as well as an exchange of experiences in sectors such as climate change, the link between water, energy and food and energy market integration. As concerns the latter sector, in May 2015, the 43 member states of the UfM decided to establish three high-level platforms on gas, the regional electricity market and renewable energy and energy efficiency. (ANSAmed).