UN peacekeepers patrol the coast road near Naqura, the last town in Lebanon before the border with Israel
UN peacekeepers patrol the coast road near Naqura, the last town in Lebanon before the border with Israel
Photo: AFP
UN peacekeepers patrol the coast road near Naqura, the last town in Lebanon before the border with Israel

Israel, Lebanon resume maritime border talks

Negotiations mediated by U.S. and UN to take place Wednesday and Thursday at UNIFIL headquarters in Lebanese border town of Naqoura following October 14 meeting described by officials as 'productive'

News Agencies |
Published: 10.28.20 , 15:35
Israel and Lebanon on Wednesday launched a second round of U.S.-mediated talks over their disputed sea border, an Israeli statement said.
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  • Delegations from the long-time foes reconvened at a UN peacekeeper base to "assess the possibility of reaching an agreement on demarcating the maritime border ... in a manner enabling the cultivation of natural resources in the area," the Energy Ministry said.
    UN peacekeepers patrol the coast road near Naqura, the last town in Lebanon before the border with Israel UN peacekeepers patrol the coast road near Naqura, the last town in Lebanon before the border with Israel
    UN peacekeepers patrol the coast road near Naqura, the last town in Lebanon before the border with Israel
    (Photo: AFP)
    The first round of talks was held on October 14. The U.S. and UN said in a joint statement that the meeting was "productive."
    Jerusalem and Beirut are still in a state of war.
    The talks, which are held at the headquarters of UN peacekeeping force UNIFIL in the Lebanese border town of Naqura, come weeks after Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates established official diplomatic relations, with Sudan announcing a similar agreement last week.
    UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jan Kubis, U.S. Assistant Secretary David Schenker, U.S. ambassador to Algeria John Desrocher, and U.S. ambassador in Lebanon Dorothy Shea at the first round of Israeli-Lebanese border talks in Naqura UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jan Kubis, U.S. Assistant Secretary David Schenker, U.S. ambassador to Algeria John Desrocher, and U.S. ambassador in Lebanon Dorothy Shea at the first round of Israeli-Lebanese border talks in Naqura
    UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jan Kubis, U.S. Assistant Secretary David Schenker, U.S. ambassador to Algeria John Desrocher, and U.S. ambassador in Lebanon Dorothy Shea at the first round of Israeli-Lebanese border talks in Naqura
    (Photo: AFP/U.S. Embassy)
    The meetings, which focus exclusively on the disputed sea frontier, come at a sensitive time as Lebanon, battered by multiple crises, hopes to continue exploring for oil and gas in a part of the Mediterranean also claimed by Israel.
    Exploration of one of the blocks is more controversial as part of it is located in an 860-square-kilometer (330-square-mile) area claimed by both Israel and Lebanon.
    Mediterranean Sea boundaries map to be discussed in talks between Israel and Lebanon   Mediterranean Sea boundaries map to be discussed in talks between Israel and Lebanon
    Mediterranean Sea boundaries map to be discussed in talks between Israel and Lebanon
    (Photo: AP)
    Israel's delegation includes Director-General of the Energy Ministry Udi Adiri, senior adviser Mor Halutz, and Aviv Ayash, the Energy Minister’s international adviser.
    Senior officials from Israel's defense echelon are also set to participate in the talks and include Deputy National Security Adviser Reuven Azar, and the head of the IDF’s Strategic Division Brig. Gen. Oren Setter.
    The Lebanese four-member delegation is comprised of two army officers, a Lebanese oil official and a maritime border law expert.
    Hezbollah fighters march in Lebanon Hezbollah fighters march in Lebanon
    Hezbollah fighters march in Lebanon
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Lebanon insists that negotiations are purely technical and do not involve any soft political normalization with Israel.
    The Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah and its Shi'ite ally Amal criticized the talks, describing them as "a moment of unprecedented political weakness for Lebanon", arguing that Israel is the real "beneficiary".
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