Israel, Lebanon launch talks on maritime border

October 15, 2020 by TPS
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Representatives from Israel, Lebanon, and the US met on Wednesday at a United Nations base at Rosh Hanikra on the border and launched discussions aimed at reaching consensus on a common Israel-Lebanon maritime boundary.

Israeli Navy’s fast patrol boats conduct a military drill in the water of the Mediterranean sea in northern Israel. Rosh HaNikra, Jun 9, 2019. Photo by Kobi Richter/TPS 

The negotiations were mediated and facilitated by the US team, led by Assistant Secretary David Schenker and Ambassador John Desrocher, and hosted by UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jan Kubis.

The Israeli delegation was headed by Udi Adiri, Director General of the Ministry of Energy. The Lebanese delegation was headed by Brigadier General Bassam Yassine, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Lebanese Armed Forces.

“During this initial meeting, the representatives held productive talks and reaffirmed their commitment to continue negotiations later this month,” a statement by the US State Department and UN said.

Israel did not comment on the talks.

Lebanon stressed that the talks are in no way a sign of normalization with Israel.

The next round of negotiations will be held on October 28.

The issue has been under discussion for over a decade, but only this month the two countries reached an agreement on a framework for the US-mediated talks.

The focus of both sides is the oil and gas discoveries in the territorial waters which are under dispute.

The Hezbollah and Amal Lebanon-based terror groups issued a statement in which they rejected the composition of the Lebanese delegation tasked to negotiate the southern border demarcation.


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