First Published: 2017-07-12

Turkey, Israel to sign pipeline deal 'this year'
Turkey, which largely depends on foreign supplies for its energy needs, is keen to diversify its resources.
Middle East Online

Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz

ANKARA - Turkey's Energy Minister Berat Albayrak is set to visit Israel by the end of this year to conclude an agreement for the building of a natural gas pipeline from the Zionist state to Turkey, the Israeli energy minister said on Wednesday.

A visit by Albayrak, son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a key member of his inner circle, would be a significant diplomatic move by Ankara after a rapprochement deal last year between the two countries mended a long-standing rift.

The crisis was triggered by Israel's deadly storming in 2010 of a Gaza-bound ship which left 10 Turkish activists dead. But the two countries normalised ties in June last year and rapidly begun discussing the gas pipeline project.

Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said both countries decided to accelerate 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.

He added that no exact date had been fixed but it would take place in the coming months.

Turkey, which largely depends on foreign supplies for its energy needs, is keen to diversify resources and has a close eye on Israel's own developing resources.

Israel is searching for energy partners to develop its Leviathan natural gas field in a bid to make it economically feasible.

"We want to build a pipeline stretching from Israel to Turkey in order to able to export natural gas from Israel to Turkey," Steinitz said, adding that the Israeli gas could be delivered to Europe and to the Balkans through Turkey.

 

UN chief 'deeply alarmed' by Eastern Ghouta violence

US declares readiness to talk Mideast peace

IS kills 25 Iraqi militiamen near Kirkuk

Sudan frees dozens of activists detained after protests

Saudi Arabia to host first Arab Fashion Week

Blockaded Gaza Strip forced to pump sewage into sea

African migrants start hunger strike over Israel expulsion

Three militiamen killed in Libya car bomb attack

Russia denies Ďgroundlessí accusations of role in Ghouta killings

Turkey says whoever helps YPG is 'legitimate target'

Morocco dismantles IS-linked terrorist cell

Turkey urged to end gas standoff with Cyprus

PKK attack near Iraq kills 2 Turkish soldiers

Netanyahu confidant to testify against him

Iran emergency teams recover bodies from plane crash site

Ten dead in more Syrian regime strikes on East Ghouta

Bahrain activist sentenced to 5 years for Yemen tweets

Lebanese president makes landmark visit to Iraq

Bloodbath in Syria's eastern Ghouta

Abbas calls for peace conference in rare UN speech

Egyptian court adds leading government critic on terror list

Yemen government offensive threatens heritage site

Turkey considering chemical castration for child abusers

45 civilians killed in air strikes on rebel enclave

Cairo sheds Ottoman-era street names amid Egypt-Turkey crisis

New woes for Israeli PM in fresh graft cases

Maghreb countries wary about jihadists relocating from Iraq, Syria

Erdogan says Turkey will besiege Afrin "swiftly"

Turkey releases leading pro-Kurdish politician

5 Iranian police killed in Sufi protests

Iran finds wreckage of crashed plane on top of mountain

Israelís gas contract with Egypt: deal or no deal?

Somalia appoints new police, intelligence chiefs

Iran plane crash rescue search halted for second night

France reaffirms commitment to Iran nuclear deal

Turkey warns Syria against protecting Kurds

Abbas warms up to Moscow amid cold US-Palestinian ties

Israel strikes 'historic' gas contract with Egypt

Are Iranian satellite channels aiding regime change?

Israel pounds Gaza with air strikes after rocket attack

Iraq orders deportation of French jihadist

Pro-Assad militias to enter Syria's Afrin

Two hardline Syria rebels announce merger

Three Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai

Israeli, US officials meet over gas row with Lebanon