"Attack on Noble Energy equals attack on US"

US Jewish leader Richard Stone sees dire consequences of an attack by Turkey on the Noble Energy rig drilling in Cypriot waters.

In an interview with Cypriot paper "Sunday Kathimerini", Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations chairman Richard Stone warns that an attack by Turkey on the Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) rig that is drilling in Cypriot waters would be considered an attack on the US.

Stone criticized Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, saying that he was distancing himself from the West and moving towards the East. Stone also said that Erdoğan used the Mavi Marmara incident as a pretext for a divorce from Israel.

Turkish daily "Sabah" reported today that Turkey has prepared a list of 174 Israelis involved in the takeover of the Mavi Marmara ship, including former IDF GOC South Major General Yoav Galant. The paper said that Turkey used Facebook to obtain information about past and present IDF soldiers.

Asked if he was worried about the Turkish threats against Israel and Cyprus, Stone said that Erdoğan’s threats were causing concern. He doubted, however, that Turkey would attack Noble Energy's rig in Cyprus, because it is a US company. “It would be hard to imagine Erdoğan carrying out an attack on the platform, although it is difficult to make a forecast about the moves of the Turkish Prime Minister."

Turkey has threatened Cyprus over the offshore drilling, and has sent a Norwegian ship it hired to conduct seismic surveys in what Turkey calls its continental shelf waters, escorted by navy ships.

Turkish daily "Hurriyet Daily News" reports that Turkish Cypriot President Derviş Eroğlu submitted a four-item proposal to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to resolve the drilling dispute with Cyprus. The first item calls to “suspend the oil and natural gas exploration simultaneously until a comprehensive solution is found to the Cyprus problem."

Erdoğan continues to stand out in the international arena. UK weekly "New Statesman" ranked him 11th in its list of the "50 People Who Matter". The paper's editors argue that Erdoğan, who made the list for the first time, is the only person in Turkey's history to have been elected in three consecutive elections. They added that he is considered as strong as Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish republic.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 26, 2011

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

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