Turkey downplays Netanyahu’s plan for natural gas trade

Turkey downplays Netanyahu’s plan for natural gas trade

Turkey downplays Netanyahu’s plan for natural gas trade

AFP photo

Turkey has listed its conditions for a gas trade deal with Israel, said a high-level official, while commenting on fresh remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Israel has steps to take on compensation about a May 2010 attack on an aid flotilla and lifting the embargo on Gaza, said İbrahim Kalın, the president’s spokesperson, while responding to questions by journalists on Dec. 9. 

“If Israel takes steps on this issue, we will of course take needed steps, but the implementation of the previously reached consensus on compensation and the finalization of the negotiations is particularly important,” Kalın said. 

Turkey and Israel are at odds since the 2010 incident that claimed lives of nine Turkish citizens and one Turkish-origin U.S. citizen. 

Kalın’s remarks came after fresh remarks by Netenyahu, who said at the Knesset that “the natural gas provides Israel with a much stronger and sturdy base against international pressures,” adding that there were already talks with Ankara about importing Israeli gas to Turkey. 

He was presenting his natural gas policy. 

Earlier the same day, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said the country was eyeing other export options for its gas, including Jordan, Greece, Turkey and Western Europe. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, meanwhile, will visit Turkmenistan to meet with Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on Dec. 12.

Turkmenistan is a leading natural gas supplier and the meeting comes at a time when Turkey and Russia, which meets more than half of Turkey’s natural gas need, are experiencing tensions due to the downing of a Russian jet on Nov. 24 for violating Turkish airspace.

Iran, a Russian ally in the Middle East, meanwhile, has cut gas flow to Turkey by half, citing technical reasons, according to news reports.