Netanyahu called off Knesset vote on gas after secret talks with Turkey

DEBKAfile reveals exclusively the real reason for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to call off the Knesset vote on the deal with the US-Israeli consortium for exploiting the Leviathan natural gas field. The news of the Italian energy company Eni’s discovery of a mega-natural gas field off the Egyptian shore had reached Jerusalem two weeks ago, together with the Italian experts’ estimate that the Egyptian field would not be ready to go online before 2025. Cairo would therefore still be a customer for natural gas from Leviathan, which is scheduled to begin production in 2018 or 2019. Furthermore, a new potential partner has offered to invest in Leviathan: Ankara. DEBKAfile reveals that a secret Turkish emissary spent Sunday and Monday in Jerusalem in talks on Ankara’s share in the Israeli gas field.


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