Israel announces the date for resuming negotiations to demarcate the maritime border with Lebanon

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An Israeli official said that negotiations on demarcating the maritime border with Lebanon will resume tomorrow at the UNIFIL base.

“The Israeli mission for talks on demarcating the maritime border with Lebanon will resume negotiations with the Lebanese mission at the UNIFIL base in Naqoura tomorrow,” Ophir Gendelman, a spokesman for the Israeli prime minister, said in a tweet.

He added, “The meeting will be held in the presence of the American mediator, John Droscher.”

“The Israeli mission seeks to explore the possibility of reaching an agreement on demarcating the maritime borders between the two countries and finding a solution that will allow the development of natural resources in the region in order to provide the welfare of its inhabitants,” Gendelman said.

Four rounds of negotiations were held between the two countries before the talks were halted several months ago.

Last Friday, Washington announced that the mediation team for the maritime border negotiations between Lebanon and Israel will travel to Beirut on May 3.

The State Department said that the mediation team will participate in the talks between Israel and Lebanon over the disputed maritime boundaries.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun anticipated the arrival of the American mediation team, with a meeting with his country’s team and the army commander.

On Monday, Aoun chaired the meeting, which included, along with the Armed Forces Commander General Joseph Aoun, the Lebanese team participating in the indirect negotiations to demarcate the southern maritime border with Israel.

A statement by the Lebanese Presidency, posted on Twitter, said that the American mediation team, headed by Ambassador John DeRoucher, will travel to Lebanon on Monday.

The two countries hope that settling the borders will encourage more gas exploration in the region, as Israel already pumps large quantities of gas from the Mediterranean, but Lebanon has not yet done so.

The Lebanese delegation did not speak directly with the Israelis in previous talks that took place in Naqoura, a UN base on the Israel-Lebanon border, and faced significant pressure from Hezbollah to abandon negotiations.

After four rounds of talks, negotiations stalled last November.

Two weeks ago, the Lebanese Minister of Public Works and Transport, Michel Najjar, announced that the government had signed a decree to expand its exclusive economic zone in the Mediterranean to the extent presented in the negotiations, and said that it would be presented to the United Nations.

It is noteworthy that Lebanon is facing a dispute over the demarcation of its exclusive economic zone, with Israel, and the area of ​​the disputed area is about 860 square kilometers.






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