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

Lebanon says difficulties in sea border talks can be overcome

Negotiations were launched in October, with delegations convening at a UN base to try to resolve a dispute about their maritime border that has held up hydrocarbon exploration in the potentially gas-rich area

Reuters |
Published: 12.02.20 , 16:26
Lebanon wants maritime border talks with Israel to succeed and difficulties that surfaced in the last session round can be overcome, President Michel Aoun told a U.S. mediator on Wednesday, after the latest round was postponed.
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  • The negotiations between the old foes were launched in October, with delegations convening at a UN base to try to resolve a dispute about their maritime border that has held up hydrocarbon exploration in the potentially gas-rich area.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    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)
    But a session scheduled for Wednesday was postponed with U.S. officials instead pursuing separate contact with the sides.
    Aoun told visiting U.S. official John Desrocher that Lebanon wanted the talks to succeed to strengthen stability in southern Lebanon and allow for oil and gas investment.
    "The difficulties that appeared in the last round of negotiations can be removed through in-depth research based on international law and the articles of the law of the sea," Aoun told Desrocher, the presidency said in a statement.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    President of Lebanon Michel Aoun
    President of Lebanon Michel Aoun
    President of Lebanon Michel Aoun
    (Photo: EPA)
    Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Monday it had been agreed with the Americans that talks would be postponed for a few weeks.
    The talks are the culmination of three years of diplomacy by Washington.
    Disagreement over the sea border has discouraged oil and gas exploration near the disputed line.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Lebanon's Prime Minister Hassan Diab speaks during a news conference at the government palace in Beirut
    Lebanon's Prime Minister Hassan Diab speaks during a news conference at the government palace in Beirut
    Lebanon's Prime Minister Hassan Diab speaks during a news conference at the government palace in Beirut
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah, which fought a month-long war with Israel in 2006, has said the talks are not a sign of peace-making with Israel. The group exercises significant influence in the state and backed the now caretaker government of Hassan Diab.
    Israel already pumps gas from huge offshore fields but Lebanon has yet to find commercial gas reserves in its own waters.

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