(December 24, 2019 / JNS) Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on Monday that Israel opposes the agreement signed last week between Libya and Turkey setting out their vision of maritime borders in the eastern Mediterranean, Reuters reported. However, he added that the deal would not likely to lead to a conflict with Turkey.
“We have no desire, and Turkey has no desire, for a confrontation with Israel,” he said in an interview on Israel’s Channel 13.
The Turkey-Libya accord could pave the way for oil and gas exploration in the area.
Israel’s ally Greece has strongly criticized the deal, calling it absurd as it ignores the Greek island of Crete, that lies between Turkey and Libya.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning to travel to Greece next week to finalize plans for a submarine pipeline to export natural gas from Israel to Italy and the rest of Europe, the report said.
The governments of Cyprus, Greece and Israel plan to sign an agreement next month for the pipeline project, the Greek prime minister’s office announced on Sunday, according to the AP.
The proposed pipeline system will take Israeli natural gas to the Greek island of Crete and the Greek mainland before heading on to Italy.
Tensions between the three countries and Turkey have been on the rise over Ankara’s activities in the area, as Turkey looks to expand its presence in the Eastern Mediterranean.
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