Slow Progress in Israel-Turkey Talks Threatens Gas Pipeline Plan
From I Stock Analyst
The pace of the supposed rapprochement between one-time strategic allies Israel and Turkey is almost glacial, casting doubts on prospects the Jewish state may build a $2 billion gas pipeline under the eastern Mediterranean to feed the European market.
That could complicate efforts by Israel, transformed since 2009 from resource-poor into a major regional energy power, to start exporting gas from its offshore fields.
It could also dash the long-held ambitions of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to turn his equally energy-poor nation into a regional energy hub and change the dynamics of east-west energy geopolitics.
Until recently, Muslim Turkey, ruled by Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, which came to power in 2002, was one of Israel’s staunchest allies with deep military and intelligence ties.
But in May 2010 that alliance fell apart when Israeli commandos intercepted a Turkish flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip in international waters, killing nine Turks.
Truth to tell the alliance had been fraying for some time as Erdogan and his Islamic party grew impatient with Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory.
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