In Nicosia, Israel’s ambassador, Oren Anolik, tries to reassure, saying that his country’s relations with Cyprus will not be affected due to a warming of Turkish-Israeli relations. In Ankara, the Israeli chargé d’affaires hopes that the country’s economic relations with Turkey will go even better and the volume of commercial transactions will reach ten billion. And in the midst of all of this comes the energy sector, with some in Ankara hoping for Israel-Turkey cooperation to promote Israeli natural gas to Europe.
The puzzle of the cooperation of the countries of the region has taken on another dimension after the decision of Israel and Turkey to restore diplomatic relations between them. A development that seems to have somewhat worried Nicosia, which for a decade has been enjoying to the maximum its own relations with Israel and at the same time the Ankara-Jerusalem conflict.
Israel’s ambassador in Nicosia, Oren Anolik, appeared again – speaking to KYPE – reassuring in terms of his country’s relations with Cyprus, but also in relation to the Turkey factor. “Israel and Cyprus are good friends and strategic partners. We have no intention of changing that regardless of our relations with other countries in the region. We feel that there are many opportunities and possibilities. And we would like to promote all of these. further for the benefit of the peoples of Cyprus and Israel”, pointed out O. Anolik.
Additionally, he stated that the President of the Republic, Nikos Anastasiadis, has led a very positive policy regarding Cyprus’ relations with Israel. “He is seen as a true friend of Israel and is appreciated for that. I have every reason to believe that regardless of who is elected in Cyprus (as the new President) this will continue,” the Israeli Ambassador added.
Asked about the rapprochement between Israel and Turkey and whether it could affect the relations between Cyprus and Israel, Mr. Anolik said that if there is any effect it will only be positive. “We were very clear at all levels, starting with the President and the Prime Minister of Israel, sending very clear messages to the Cypriot leadership, saying that this is not a zero-sum game,” he pointed out, adding that Cyprus and Israel have excellent relations in various fields, which continue to develop.
He stressed that “Cyprus will not pay a price for what can be done in terms of relations with Turkey. We will not let any warming in relations with Turkey affect our relations with our good friends in Cyprus, but also in Greece. This was a very clear message and we stand by it.”
The focus is on the economy
Israel’s Chargé d’Affaires in Turkey, Irit Lilian, said (source AA/GTP) that in addition to the harmonization of diplomatic relations between the two countries, there is a great scope for cooperation between Turkey and Israel in various fields, such as the field of technology, tourism , the defense industry and the economy.
Referring to the two countries’ current trade volume of $8 billion, Lilian expressed hope that with the process of harmonizing their relations, the trade volume will reach $10 billion.
Finally, regarding the appointment of a new Israeli Ambassador to Turkey, Lilian said that it will take a few more weeks before his name is announced.
The perspectives created in energy
The energy crisis affecting Europe is already seen by many as creating an outlook for the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean and the natural gas that has been discovered in the region. Israel is already ahead of Cyprus in terms of exploiting its own energy reserves and it is natural that it is looking for potential markets.
Oren Anolik said that what he believes is “that now that Europe is trying to find new energy sources we can be helpful, to a limited extent at the moment. The recent discoveries of more deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean are interesting in this respect, and there are ongoing discussions between Israel and Cyprus, between the Ministries of Energy, about how we can move forward on these issues.
Mr. Anolik also stated that “we are continuing to see what can be done regarding the EastMed pipeline. We are waiting for the feasibility study. There are various elements that need to be studied, some related to technical aspects, some related to financial aspects, some to environmental aspects. aspects and also with political aspects. But this is an issue that is still open.
The rewarming of relations between Turkey and Israel gives impetus to the revival of discussions on the transfer of Israeli natural gas to Europe through Turkey. On the grounds that the Eastern Mediterranean pipeline is no longer offered as a solution for transporting natural gas from the region. The Turkish professor, Ciyagri Erhan, argued (source AA/GTP) that the transfer of natural gas from Israel to Turkey is the only feasible solution for the two countries.