Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his government is in contact with several countries, including Turkey, about natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Netanyahu’s remarks are the first to be publicly announced about talks with Turkey and were made late Wednesday while addressing the Likud party in an electoral event in Bat Yam in central Israel. 

He confirmed that Israel was also holding talks with Egypt, Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, and that discussions also tackled the issue of exporting gas to Europe. 

Israel will hold general elections on March 23 which will decide Netanyahu’s political future amid intense competition between rival parties.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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