Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon accused Turkey of supporting the Islamic State terror group by purchasing its oil.
“As you know, Daesh (Islamic State) enjoyed Turkish money for oil for a very, very long period of time. I hope that it will be ended,” Ya’alon said during a meeting with Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos in Athens.
Turkey and Israel, whose diplomatic ties deteriorated in 2010 following the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident, have reportedly been close to normalizing relations in recent months.
Ya’alon also accused Turkey of “permitting jihadists to move from Europe to Syria and Iraq and back, as part of Daesh’s terrorist network, and I hope this will stop too.”
“It’s up to Turkey, the Turkish government, the Turkish leadership, to decide whether they want to be part of any kind of cooperation to fight terrorism. This is not the case so far,” Ya’alon said.
The defense minister’s comments come amid a flurry of diplomatic activity between Israel, Greece, and Cyprus this week. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and 10 Greek government ministers are scheduled to travel to Jerusalem and meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday.
Following their meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu and Tsipras will head to Cyprus to hold a tripartite summit with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. The three leaders will discuss eastern Mediterranean energy and security issues, such as the vast oil and gas fields in the region as well as the outlook in Turkey and Syria.