Warming in relations with Israel?  Turkish President Erdogan in a dramatic statement

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan Announced today (Tuesday) that President Yitzhak Herzog may visit the country soon. At a press conference with his Serbian counterpart, Alexander Wojciech, Erdogan said that “we have had meetings with the Israeli side in the past, and we have emphasized our cooperation in transporting gas to Europe, and we are still ready for that.” However, the Turkish president did not specify a possible date for the visit. The President’s House declined to comment on a report that President Yitzhak Herzog would visit Turkey.

The Turkish president added at the press conference that while he was having a dialogue with President Herzog, messages were also received from Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Erdogan added that his country was “eager to resume talks to bring Israeli gas to Europe, via Turkey.”

Meanwhile, the Turkish Anatolia news agency reported that according to Erdogan “the goal is to move forward through a positive attitude, and the parties will do their best, if it is based on mutual benefit”. Earlier in the day, the president said that the United States had withdrawn support for a submarine pipeline to transport natural gas from the Middle East to Europe, due to lack of economic viability. It is expected to transfer 10 billion cubic meters of gas annually.

As you may recall, Greece, Cyprus and Israel signed an agreement two years ago to extend the EastMed gas pipeline and complete the project by 2025. The pipeline is to transport gas from Israel and Cyprus to Greece, and from there to the European gas network via Italy. However, the plan has been thwarted in the meantime, following disagreement between Turkey and Greece. The two NATO members have not reached an agreement on maritime sovereignty and energy rights in the eastern Mediterranean.

By Editor

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