Erdoğan issues veiled threat over gas

The Turkish prime minister hinted that Turkey will back Lebanon in challenging Israel's exploitation of offshore natural gas.

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has wound up the tension with Israel another notch, Israel's Channel 2 television news reports. After accusing Israel yesterday of failure to honor military equipment agreements, this evening he issued a threat to Jerusalem, warning that any flotilla setting out for the Gaza Strip from Turkish shores will be accompanied by Turkish naval vessels.

Erdoğan delivered the message in an interview with Al Jazeera, adding "Turkey will not allow Israel exclusive use of the resources of the Mediterranean Sea." The statement was apparently a hint that Turkey will join the front that Lebanon has opened up against Israel over exploitation of natural gas reserves discovered in the Mediterranean.

Earlier this week, Erdoğan announced the suspension of military and commercial agreements with Israel, after expelling nine Israeli diplomats.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on September 8, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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