Turkey may exclude Israel from the Blue Stream-2 gas pipeline project if relations between the countries continue to deteriorate following the Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound humanitarian aid convoy, Turkish media said on Thursday.
Turkey, whose citizens were killed during Monday's raid by Israeli commandos on pro-Palestinian activists in the Mediterranean Sea, has severely condemned the aggression and moved to impose sanctions on Israel.
The Aksam daily quoted diplomatic sources as saying Turkey might review international agreements involving Israel, including the Blue Stream-2 project. Israel is among the countries planning to receive Russian natural gas be pumped via Turkey.
Russia and Turkey agreed last March to build the second leg of the pipeline, linking the two countries via the Black Sea, to pump Russian gas to Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Cyprus.
Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz has requested a report be made for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan concerning Turkish-Israeli cooperation in the energy sphere, Aksam said.
"A strategic decision will be taken on this issue, and it will be discussed during a government meeting," the minister was quoted by the paper as saying.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has not commented on the report.
The paper quoted Turkish diplomats as saying Turkey would only exclude Israel from the Blue Stream-2 project if the crisis in relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv escalated.
Israeli commandos stormed on Monday the Freedom Flotilla carrying some 10,000 tons of aid and up to 700 human rights activists to Gaza, in neutral waters in the Mediterranean Sea. The operation claimed the lives of at least 9 people, according to official Israeli reports. Arab media reports put the death toll at close to 20.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said earlier that more than half of those on board the aid convoy as well as four out of nine dead were Turkish nationals.
Turkey has said that Israel's aggression will remain "a black spot" in the history of mankind and must entail harsh consequences. The country recalled its ambassador from Israel following the attack.
On Wednesday, the Turkish parliament unanimously adopted a declaration urging the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Israel over the attack described as a "blatant violation of the UN Charter and the international law."
The parliament also urged the Turkish government "to review political, military, trade and economic ties with Israel and take the necessary effective measures."
ANKARA, June 3 (RIA Novosti)