Turkey and Israel are expected to seal an energy deal by the year’s end, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Wednesday.
Turkish Energy Minister Berat Albayrak is expected to visit Israel by the end of this year to sign a deal to build a natural gas pipeline from Israel to Turkey.
The gas deal to be signed by Albayrak, who is the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan heralds a significant diplomatic move by Ankara after a rapprochement agreement last year between the two countries repaired a long-standing breakdown in relations.
In 2010, Israel commandos raided a Gaza-bound ship sent by a Turkish charity which Israel considers to be a terrorist organisation. Nine Turkish activists were left dead in the ensuing clashes. But the two countries normalised ties in June last year and rapidly begun discussing the gas pipeline project.
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said both countries decided to speed up efforts to conclude by the end of this year an intergovernmental agreement that will enable the construction of a pipeline from Israel to Turkey.
“Hopefully, Mr. Albayrak will pay a visit to Israel this year in 2017, which will help us accelerate and try to conclude this agreement,” the minister said at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul after meeting Albayrak.
The Times of Israel