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Turkey and Israel consider offshore gas pipeline through East Mediterranean

“Ankara has expressed its willingness to enter into negotiations with Jerusalem on transferring Israeli gas supplies to the European continent through Turkish territory,” reported state-run Kan radio.

“A high-ranking Turkish energy source has conveyed a message in this regard to Israel, explaining that his country is waiting for the formation of a stable government in Israel and the appointment of a new energy minister to discuss this issue,” the statement said.

Kan radio’s diplomatic correspondent Amichai Stein said that Israeli officials were also ready to discuss the building of a gas pipeline with Turkey.

Reportedly, the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Israeli chargé d’affaires Roey Gilad to warn him that Israeli plans to build a gas pipeline in the Eastern Mediterranean jointly with Greece, Italy and the Greek Cypriot administration would require Turkey’s approval.

On December 15th, in a televised interview Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan presented a map in which he showed where the Israeli gas pipeline would go through, and that it would need Turkish approval to happen at all.

Earlier, on December 14th, Kan radio reported that Turkey’s deal on territorial waters was specifically aimed at stopping Israel’s potential gas pipeline.

According to the report, Turkey claims that the planned Israeli pipeline infringes on Turkey’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as redefined by the Libya accord.

Israel, Greece, Cyprus and Italy had signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of the pipeline, it added. The situation is quite unclear, with most of it being fueled by Israeli media, and there been no conclusive official statements on the matter.