'Israel offered to lay pipeline through Turkey'

February 15, 2013 11:56

Ankara reluctant to accept Israeli offer for natural gas pipeline because of political tension, Turkish minister says.

Leviathan holds 453 billion cu.m. of gas [file]

Leviathan 311. (photo credit:Courtesy of Albatross)

Israel has offered to lay a natural gas pipeline through Turkey, but Ankara is reluctant to accept due to ongoing tension between the countries, the Hurriyet newspaper quoted a Turkish Energy Ministry official as saying on Friday.

“Israel has made a bid to build a pipeline to Turkey within the last two weeks,” Hurriyet quoted the official as saying. “But we have a policy regarding Israel, and the claim that Turkey leans towards this idea is not true.”

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The pipeline would allow Israel to export gas to Europe, but the Turkish government has not given a response to the proposal.

This follows reports in Yediot Aharonot that two Israelis held two meetings in Turkey with officials from the country’s Energy Ministry to present the proposal. The story was reported in the Turkish daily Vatan on Thursday.

Israel recently allowed Turkey to send materials into the Gaza Strip to build a hospital.

Hurriyet noted that this relates to one of the three conditions that Ankara presented to Jerusalem for overcoming tensions, lifting the “siege” on Gaza.

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