Minister: Cooperation between Israel and Turkey in energy field not possible
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 15 /. Trend, A. Taghiyeva /
Cooperation between Israel and Turkey on gas pipeline construction and the supply of Israeli gas to Turkey is not possible due to political disputes, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz said on Friday, Anadolu agency reported.
"As long as Israel does not fulfill Turkey's conditions put forward after the "Flotilla of Freedom " incident, cooperation in the energy sector between Turkey and Israel is out of the question," Yildiz said.
The minister said that the project is very beneficial both for Israel and for Turkey. However, Turkey will agree to begin such cooperation only if Israel fulfills all the conditions of Turkey.
Today, the media reported that Turkey and Israel held preliminary talks to supply gas from the Leviathan field to the Turkish market.
A source in the Israeli project confirmed the information regarding negotiations, but added that they are very complex due to the recent events that have affected the relations between the two countries.
Relations between Turkey and Israel, which were two strategic and military partners before, worsened after Israeli naval attacks on the "Flotilla of Freedom" carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza on May 31, 2010. Nine Turks fell victim to a confrontation between Israeli soldiers and international human rights activists on the Turkish ship.
Ankara later demanded that Israel issue an official apology, order an independent international investigation, and pay compensation, however, Tel Aviv refused.
Last September, Ankara announced that diplomatic relations between Turkey and Israel moved to a secondary level, suspending military cooperation with Tel Aviv and recalling its ambassador.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeatedly pointed out that for the normalization of relations with Turkey, Israel must fulfill the following conditions of Ankara: providing compensation to the families of the nine killed Turkish nationals, apologize to Turkey and raise the blockade of the Gaza Strip.