Berat Albayrak, Turkey’s Energy Minister and son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is set to visit Israel by the end of this year to conclude an agreement for the building of a natural gas pipeline between the two countries.
According to an announcement by Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz on Wednesday, the move is considered to be a significant diplomatic manoeuvre by Ankara after a rapprochement deal last year between the two countries mended a long-standing rift.
The crisis was triggered by Israel’s deadly storming in 2010 of a Gaza-bound ship which left 10 Turkish activists dead. But the two countries normalized ties in June last year and rapidly begun discussing the gas pipeline project.
According to Steinitz, both countries decided to accelerate efforts to conclude by the end of this year an intergovernmental agreement that will enable the construction of a pipeline from Israel to Turkey.
“Hopefully, Mr. Albayrak will pay a visit to Israel this year in 2017, which will help us accelerate and try to conclude this agreement,” said Steinitz at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul after meeting Albayrak adding that as yet no exact date had been set but that the meeting would take place within the coming months.