October 26, 2016

Turkey eyes Israeli gas to replace Russian imports

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during the Presidential Culture and Arts Grand Awards ceremony at the presidential palace in Ankara, on December 9, 2015. (AFP photo)

Turkey is considering gas imports from Israel, with the Tel Aviv regime’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying the two sides have already discussed the possibility. 

Ankara has listed a number of conditions for a deal, according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman on Thursday, citing demands for compensation for the May 2010 Israeli attack on an aid flotilla.

“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,” Ibrahim Kalın said in a press conference in Ankara.

His remarks came after Netanyahu said Israel was already in talks with Ankara about selling gas to Turkey.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the National Building Museum in Washington DC on November 9, 2015. (AFP photo)

In a speech to the Knesset on Wednesday, the Israeli premier said he wanted to expand relations with Ankara.

“We’re looking at the changing scene and seeing how we can, as I said before, diversify our markets, establish new friendships or rekindle old relationships if possible,” he said.

Turkey-Moscow tensions

Ankara is looking for new sources of energy amid a diplomatic dispute with Moscow after downing a Russian bomber in Syria in November. Turkey relies on Russia for 55 percent of its natural gas and 30 percent of its oil needs.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu examine at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow on December 8, 2015, the flight recorder from the Russian Sukhoi Su-24 bomber which was shot down by a Turkish jet on November 24. (AFP photo)

Earlier this month, Egypt halted gas talks with Israel after it was ordered by an arbitration group to pay $1.76 billion in fines for cutting some of the world’s cheapest gas to the Tel Aviv regime.

Egypt canceled a 20-year deal for supply of natural gas to Israel in 2012 following the ouster of former dictator Hosni Mubarak.

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