Lebanese officials reported of a significant turnaround in the United State's position regarding the Shebaa Farms and said that the Bush administration is now in favor of Israel's withdrawal from the eight square mile disputed area in the Golan Heights in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1701, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat said Monday.
Sources in Lebanon were quoted by Al-Hayat as saying that Israel's possible withdrawal from the Shebaa Farms area, which was captured by Israel from Syria during the Six Day War in 1967, was one of the focal points during the recent meetings US President George W. Bush held with German, Italian, British and French leaders while touring Europe.
The sources said Washington was more understanding of Lebanon's position on the issue, which is supported by the Arab League, the European Union and UN chief Ban Ki-moon, and did not rule out the possibility that the US would press Israel to withdraw from the Shebaa Farms.
Al-Hayat quoted other Lebanese officials as saying that they were pleased with the recent diplomatic developments on the issue, which, according to them, indicated the possibility that the disputed region would be transferred to the supervision of UNIFIL forces in south Lebanon.
Recent reports said that British Foreign Minister David Miliband and French President Nicolas Sarkozy estimated that the Shebaa Farms dispute would soon be resolved.
Last week the Lebanese government issued a statement saying it would not negotiate with Israel until the Jewish state withdraws from the Shebaa Farms.