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Turkey and Israel in gas pipeline deal?

16 February 2013

On Thursday, ‘Kibris Postasi’ cited a story from the Israeli press, stating that there were discussions between Turkey and Israel to pipe a projected 8 -10 billion cubic meters of natural gas via undersea pipelines from the Leviathan field to Turkey. Allegedly, Turkish conglomerate Zorlu Group wants to lay an undersea pipeline from the Leviathan field, the biggest in Israel, to southern Turkey.

This method of transporting the new gas finds, would be the most cheap and effective way of delivering the gas to Israel’s European clients.

However, because of the tense political situation between the two countries, sealing the deal would be difficult at best. In response to the press claims, the Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs issued a statement denying the story.

Yesterday, according to Turkish daily newspaper ‘Hurriyet’, a Turkish energy ministry official told the newspaper that Israel has approached Turkey, offering to lay an undersea natural gas pipeline to Turkey’s south coast in order to sell energy to Europe, but the Turkish government is yet to give an answer due to the political tension between two countries.

Israel has made a bid to build a pipeline to Turkey within last two weeks,” the official said. “But we have a policy regarding Israel and the claims that Turkey leans towards this idea is not true.”

Today, ‘Hurriyet’ reports that according to Energy Minister Taner Yıldız, Turkey will not agree to an energy project with Israel without the approval of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan.

We can’t act like nothing ever happened. We won’t operate a project with Israel without seeing that the conditions put by the prime minister are met [first],

Turkey has long demanded that Israel apologize for the 2010 raid on the Mavi Marmara aid flotilla, pay compensation to the families of nine Turks who were killed in the attack, as well as lift a blockade on Gaza.

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