Turkey could ‘easily’ send Israeli gas abroad: Dönmez

Israel’s natural gas could be “easily” transported abroad through Turkey’s pipeline network, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez said on Saturday.

“We already have a national transport system on our territory. Some of the (Israeli gas) can be easily transferred from there,” Fatih Dönmez told private broadcaster CNN Türk.

Dönmez’s remarks come as Turkey and Israel heralded a new era in their relationship last week after a year-long rift as Israeli President Isaac Herzog made a historic visit to Ankara.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expressed his belief that Herzog’s visit was “an opportunity to relaunch the energy-themed cooperation that started before,” stressing Turkey’s willingness to cooperate with Israel in the energy sector. ‘energy.

Dönmez, along with Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu, is due to visit Israel in April for further talks on increased cooperation.

Herzog’s visit marked the first such trip by an Israeli leader in more than a decade, as the two countries agreed to rebuild their relationship despite their differences.

Erdoğan last month expressed Turkey’s interest in resuming talks with Israel over the use of its natural gas and said the two countries could work together to bring Israeli natural gas to Europe, rekindling an idea discussed more than 20 years ago.

Officials and experts have called Turkey’s pipeline network the most feasible option for transporting natural gas from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe.

Plans for an undersea gas pipeline that would transport Israeli gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe via Greek Cyprus and Greece to Europe, excluding Turkey, stalled after states States expressed doubts in January, citing concerns about its economic viability and environmental costs.

Turkey has long opposed the plan and stressed that any plans to sideline Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in the Eastern Mediterranean would be a failure.

The EastMed pipeline had benefited from the support of the former Trump administration in the United States. However, in an apparent reversal, the Biden administration in January expressed doubts about the project, citing concerns about its economic viability and environmental costs.

Dönmez said that a potential pipeline project between the two countries is linked to the harmony of mutual interests of the parties.

“Looking at the outline of the project, a line of about 500 kilometers to 600 kilometers (310 miles to 372 miles) is needed. On the other hand, at least two to three times as many pipelines to Europe had to be installed as that. We already have a national transport network on our territory. Part can be easily transferred from there,” the minister said.

Dönmez said additional pipelines may be needed in case higher volumes need to be transported in the future.

“But initially, we can easily transport the gas that can come from there, both within the country and abroad.”

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