Turkey rules out energy alliance with Israel until Gaza peace: Minister
Taner Yıldız answers the questions of journalists. AA Photo
A natural gas project with Israel amid the ongoing violence in the Gaza Strip is out of question, the Turkish energy minister has said, shutting the door to an energy alliance between the two countries.
“If we build a natural gas pipeline from Israel or the eastern Mediterranean under these circumstances, the blood of innocent infants and mothers, not natural gas, would flow through it,” Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said, after a meeting with Maltese Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi on Aug. 4.
“Therefore, I want to share with the public that there is no possibility for us to carry out this project [under the current circumstances] right now and this issue can only be discussed after a permanent cease-fire and an end to the cruelty in Palestine [has been implemented],” he added.
Despite, the Turkish energy minister saying a potential energy partnership “could be talked about after everything has stabilized and calmed down,” he still stressed that “[Turkey’s] door will be closed until that time.”
Israel has been working on several different alternatives in order to transport and commercialize its newly discovered gas reserves. Turkey would have been an alternative route for Israel to transportation gas to Europe and several different locations in the world, however, the relations between the two countries have deteriorated since the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010.
Leviathan, discovered in 2010 and located on Israel’s Mediterranean coast, is the world’s largest offshore gas discovery in the past decade and it is expected to provide the country with greater energy independence.