Turkey, Israel ‘discuss price, route of gas pipeline’
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Turkey and Israel’s talks on the proposed natural gas pipeline construction to bring Israeli gas to Europe are at an “advanced stage,” according to the adviser to Israel’s National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Minister.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency on Oct. 13, Dror Cohen said discussions between Turkey and Israel were currently in talks on the price and the route of the proposed natural gas pipeline between the two countries.
The EastMed pipeline project is a European project of common interest, which involves an offshore and onshore natural gas pipeline, directly connecting East Mediterranean resources from the Leviathan gas field in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel to Italy and Greece via southern Cyprus and Crete.
“We have some issues around the price and around how much and where exactly the pipeline will go. We are in the middle of negotiations,” Cohen said, adding that he was hopeful that through flexibility from both Turkey and Israel an agreement would eventually be made.
The negotiations involve both private Turkish and Israeli companies as well as government officials.
In a recent visit to Turkey on the sidelines of the 22nd World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul, Israel’s National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Minister Yuval Steinitz said Turkey and Israel agreed to try to conclude the inter-governmental umbrella agreement that will enable the construction of the Turkey-Israel pipeline by the end of this year.
The Israeli adviser noted that Israeli officials were also in talks with government officials and the CEOs of regional countries stemming from a meeting in Greece a few weeks ago.
“They are working on a regional agreement. I cannot give more details on this. In Turkey, we also have separate negotiations,” he said.
He also said that Israel was keeping its options open for the exportation of gas with Greece and Egypt.
“There are always options, and we do not put any option above the other,” he said.
“We can do it in parallel with all three [Turkey, Greece and Egypt],” he said, reiterating that Israel just wanted to conduct business and get things going.
Cohen expressed his hopes that a visit soon by Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak in Tel Aviv would move the project along.
“I think when the time comes and the agreement is on the verge of signing, we will hopefully see him in Tel Aviv. I am waiting, the minister is waiting, our offices are waiting and the whole of Israel is waiting for the minister to come,” he said.