Settlement in Cyprus to accelerate energy cooperation between Turkey, Israel: Envoy
Sevil Erkuş - ANKARAA settlement in the Cyprus dispute would “accelerate” energy cooperation between Israel and Turkey, as the two countries possess potential in the area, Israeli Ambassador to Ankara Eitan Na’eh told reporters on March 1.
The two countries aim to enhance cooperation in energy, and discussions are continuing on both intergovernmental and private-sector levels, he told reporters, noting that Turkey and Israel could reach 8 billion dollars in trade volume within a few years.
A delegation of Turkish business leaders will travel to Israel between May 14 and 17. Israel has invited Turkey’s economy minister, Nihat Zeybekci, to participate in the visit, but the Turkish side has yet to provide confirmation about his plans. Israeli Economy Minister Eli Cohen also plans to visit Turkey in 2017 as part of both countries’ focus on economic ties as a vital dynamic to their bilateral normalization process.
Israel wishes to hold a joint economic committee meeting in May, with confirmation pending regarding the participation of Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, the head of the committee on behalf of Turkish government.
Israel and Turkey are pursuing discussions for the construction of a pipeline that would carry Israeli natural gas to Turkey and onward to European markets.
Delegations from the Turkish and Israeli energy ministries recently paid reciprocal visits and discussed the transfer of energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean to global markets through Turkey. The countries also discussed Turkey’s work to end Gaza’s electricity crisis through Ankara’s purchase of fuel from the Palestinian Authority to operate a power plant in Gaza.
Turkey and Israel aim to finalize a deal by summer regarding the transfer of Israeli gas, which is expected to flow by 2021, to Turkey.
The parties are discussing the formation of a consortium for the construction of a pipeline, although it is not yet clear whether the state-owned Turkish Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ) or a private company from Turkey will join the consortium.
[HH] Israeli energy minister to visit Turkey in April
Cohen will pay a visit to Istanbul in April for an international meeting, while the Israeli government has also invited Turkish Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, but Ankara reportedly has yet to respond.
Turkey and Israel reached an agreement in June to normalize ties and end acrimony caused by an Israeli naval raid on the Mavi Marmara Turkish aid ship, which was trying to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza in 2010. Ten Turkish activists were killed in the raid.
Under the reconciliation deal, Israel agreed to compensate the families of the victims while Turkey agreed not to hold Israeli nationals criminally liable for the incident.