Israel sees ‘Med-Streams’ in service of regional diplomacy
pipeline that will carry Israeli gas to Turkey would enhance political
normalization between two countries, Israeli envoy says, contrary to
Turkish efforts to separate two processes
Transferring Israeli gas through Turkey to the international market is profitable for both Turkey and Israel
and cooperation in the energy field could pave the way for resolving
regional problems, a senior diplomat from the Jewish state said, as he
apparently referred to probable normalization of bilateral relations
between Turkey and Israel with the help of such cooperation at a bilateral level.
should start thinking at least about a set of Med-Streams, a set of
pipelines and LNG that will enable us to exploit not only oil and gas,
but also to create another political environment,” Ambassador Michael
Lotem, special envoy for energy of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, said
yesterday, referring to prospects of building of a pipeline from Israel to Turkey.
we use energy; can we use gas, beyond the commercial value of it, in
the service of politics, in the service of diplomacy?” Lotem asked in a
speech delivered at the second and last day of the 12th Turkish
International Oil & Gas Conference (TUROGE). “I say that we
should… and if we are talking about [it], especially for Turkey, for
Europe,” the Israeli ambassador said, citing the BTC project, which he
describes “a valued example of how an energy project can initiate
Lotem was among the speakers in a session on the
East Mediterranean as part of a panel titled “Potential Sources of
Alternative Supplies – Regional Developments.” Israel-Greek Cyprus ties
Elaborating on different options to transport Israeli gas to international markets, Lotem cited Greek Cyprus as “the nearest EU-friend country of Israel.”
There was a lot of talk about taking Israeli gas to an LNG facility in Greek Cyprus, the diplomat said. “But
we have to remember what the Tamah community strongly recommended, that
the Israeli export facility be in Israel,” he added.
strong natural interests in the present,” he said, noting voices from
Turkey that have said the country is a natural market for Israeli gas.
Israeli diplomat also cited other voices within Israel, those asking if
the Jewish state should “take risks that would subject them to
“I strongly believe that Turkey has proven a
very positive record of not connecting these issues,” Lotem said, adding
that the BTC pipeline is running smoothly without interruption.
Although Israel showed its hand for energy cooperation with Turkey, Ankara has fallen behind intentionally to avoid any interpretation of connecting the issue of the apology Israel offered for the Mavi Marmara victims and the oil-gas bonanza in the region.
Minister Taner Yıldız in earlier remarks repeatedly said that
discussing energy deals before the restoration of ties between Turkey
and Israel had been finalized would be impossible.