Lebanese leaders voice misgivings over Israel maritime border deal, report says

Hezbollah rag Al Akhbar details objections surrounding core issues in upcoming agreement with Israel, including refusal to establish maritime security zone and hold joint signing ceremony at UN headquarters in Naquora

Eyal Arvid, Yuval Karni|
Lebanese leaders have voiced several misgivings regarding a U.S.-brokered agreement proposal to delineate its maritime border with Israel, Lebanese daily Al Akhbar reported on Tuesday.
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  • According to the paper, which is affiliated with the terrorist group Hezbollah, some Lebanese officials refuse to create an offshore security strip under Israeli control and recognize a line of buoys demarcating the final border between the two.
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    ישיבת ממשלה
    ישיבת ממשלה
    Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Lebanese President Micehl Aoun
    (Photo: Olivier Fitoussi, AFP)
    Also, Lebanon will refuse to include any talks about land borders in the agreement but will work with the UN to determine its international borders.
    Moreover, Beirut has also refused to condition its work with French energy firm TotalEnergies in a contested offshore gas field on agreements with Israel. The preference is for the company to act in accordance with Lebanon's needs and not be obligated in discussions with Israel to start drilling on the Lebanese side.
    The newspaper also stated that Lebanon would not agree to hold an official signing ceremony in the border town of Naqoura as Israel and the U.S. wanted.
    "Lebanon will not agree to hold an official signing ceremony at the UN headquarters in Nakoura as the Israelis and Americans want. If there is an agreement, Lebanon will sign a missive that will go to the UN representative in the presence of the American mediator," the report said.
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    אסדת כריש
    אסדת כריש
    Israeli gas righ Karish
    (Photo: AFP)
    "All this will be done separately and in a separate room from the room where the Israeli delegation is located, which will do the same."
    However, the report stated that the agreement will enter into force as soon as the U.S. announces its completion.
    The Lebanese side will submit its comments on the draft agreement to U.S. mediator Amos Hochstein on Wednesday.
    In response to the report, a source in Prime Minister Yair Lapid's orbit said that "the prime minister will not agree to compromise on the security and economic interests of the State of Israel."
    A senior Israeli source said, "we are waiting to receive the comments officially from authorized parties so that we know if and how to move forward."
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