Turkey in recent days delivered a message to Israel saying that despite its threats that it would not allow an Israeli gas pipeline to be laid from the reservoirs off the shores of Israel to Europe inside the Turkish its territorial water, the Turkish government is “open to negotiations,” Kan 11 reported Sunday.
The message to Israel came from a senior Turkish official, who added that “Turkey would be happy for Israel to reevaluate the option of transferring gas from Israel to Europe, via Turkey.”
In addition, officials in Turkey have told the Israeli embassy supervisor in the same conversation that they would not allow the pipeline to be laid, and also added that “they are open to dialogue and negotiations with Israel on the issue of natural gas.”
The same officials added: “It is true that the president has made threats, but his main message was that we want dialogue and cooperation, not conflict.”
In 2018, Turkey reduced the level of diplomatic relations with Israel and both ambassadors returned home.
The Israeli embassy supervisor told the Turks in that same conversation that there are quite a few legal problems with their attempts to prevent the construction of the Israel-Cyprus-Greece-Italy gas pipeline, intended to transport natural gas from Israel to Europe.
It should be noted that, geographically speaking, the pipeline need not pass through Turkey’s maritime territory at all, but Turkey is certainly capable of causing troubles to the pipeline operators.
Last week, Kan 11 reported that Israel believes Turkey’s aggressive declarations on the issue mean they are trying to gain a foothold in the developing Mediterranean underwater gas business.
Turkish media reports state that now, after their country’s maritime agreement with Libya, the world can no longer ignore Turkey.