Turkey and Israel Take Steps Toward Resolving Gas Dispute

Article Summary
Last year, Turkey strongly strongly Israel's drilling near Cyprus and even threatened with military interference, writes David Lipkin. But last week, Turkish energy minister Taner Yildiz announced that the two countries are currently in mediation over the conflict.  

Turkish Minister of Energy Taner Yildiz told Maariv  that the dispute with Israel over [natural] gas fields under the Mediterranean Ocean is expected to enter a process of mediation. He hopes that a solution will be found that will not aggravate the gas dispute, unlike the political sphere in which the crisis between Turkey and Israel worsened. Turkey raised territorial demands regarding the gas drilling sites close to Cyprus. At a certain point, Turkey even threatened to launch a military action to prevent Israeli companies from drilling for gas in the area. Turkey sharply criticized Israeli activity in the drilling search sections close to Northern Cypress.

Yaldiz avoided giving an answer when asked about the possibility of a meeting between the Turkish Energy Minister and Israeli Energy Minister Uzi Landau, but he did not exclude the possibility either.

At the convention of the World Economic Forum of Davos in the Middle East, Yaldiz presented a development program of Turkey’s electric system. He made it clear that Turkey will continue erecting nuclear power plants and that it intends to establish 23 nuclear plants by 2023. Although Turkey has no nuclear power plants at present, it is determined to build a network of nuclear power plants despite the dangers involved [as Turkey lies on the Anatolian plateau known for its seismic activity] because of the importance of meeting its increasing energy needs. The plants will be constructed in 3 regions throughout Turkey. 

Found in: turkey, nuclear plants, nuclear, mediation, israel, gas, drilling, davos world economic forum on the middle east north africa and eurasia 2012, cyprus, conflict, 2023

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