"Israel and Türkiye have set the goal of a full-fledged normalisation of relations"
    Gallia Lindenstrauss hosted by Caliber.Az

    INTERVIEWS  19 August 2022 - 13:15

    Bahram Batiyev

    Caliber.Az presents an interview with Gallia Lindenstrauss, senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies (Israel).

    - Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have agreed to restore full diplomatic relations and return the two countries' ambassadors to their capitals. How expected was this event in Israel?

    - Since 2020, Türkiye has taken a number of positive steps toward Israel. Both states have set their sights on a full-fledged normalisation of relations, but Israel has been moving slowly in that direction.

    - What importance does Israel attach to its relations with Türkiye?

    - Türkiye is one of the regional powers in the Middle East, along with Israel, and both countries have plenty of topics to discuss. In addition, Israel and Turkiye maybe able to cooperate with regard to the many hotspots in the region.

    - Can we expect a resumption of Turkish-Israeli security cooperation, including military-technical cooperation?

    - It is hard to imagine that in the near future the two states will be able to deepen cooperation in the military-technical sphere since they have been in strained relations for ten years.

    However, today Türkiye has a strong defence industry and does not need Israel's help, but it was different before.

    - Given the shortage of natural gas in Europe, some experts are considering the possibility of building an Israeli-Turkish gas pipeline through which gas from Israel would go to the EU via Türkiye. Presumably, we are talking about 10-16 billion cubic meters of Israeli gas per year. How viable is it?

    - This option still looks vague, because, with the existing explored volumes of gas and Israeli exports to Egypt and Jordan, there is less of a financial justifclication for the construction of pipelines. There are also political constraints, above all the fact that the conflict in Cyprus has not been resolved, and this pipeline would have to pass close to its shores.

    - After the 44-day war between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Türkiye's role in the South Caucasus region, where Moscow had the strongest position, increased significantly. Do you think Russia and Türkiye in the South Caucasus are competitors or partners?

    - I think Türkiye and Russia are competitors in many sectors and areas in the South Caucasus, but Ankara and Moscow have many points of contact. Consequently, there are fierce discussions between the two states.

    - What is Israel's attitude to cooperation with Azerbaijan?

    - Israel attaches great importance to cooperation with Azerbaijan. For decades, Baku and Tel Aviv have been consistent and reliable partners.

    - Due to the Russian-Ukrainian war, there could be food shortages in the world. In 2022, a delegation from Israel's Ministry of Agriculture visited Azerbaijan. During the meetings in Baku, a preliminary agreement was reached on the use of Israeli technologies for the cultivation of wheat in the territories of Azerbaijan in Karabakh liberated from the Armenian occupation. What are the prospects for cooperation in this direction?

    - Israeli companies have advanced developments in agriculture and water management. These opportunities become more and more serious due to climate change and the need to ensure food security. Cooperation in this field is necessary itself, as it also contributes to further strengthening these opportunities.



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