Thursday , May 26 2022

Fourth negotiation session between Lebanon and Israel to identify maritime borders


In the fourth round, the Israeli delegation is expected to submit its proposal for the designation of maritime borders with Lebanon, in response to the Lebanese proposal tabled in past sessions.

No agreement was reached until the moment on the starting point for the borders, in the light of both sides raising the ceiling of their demands during the last three rounds of negotiations.

The talks were launched at an opening session on October 14, between the two countries, which is theoretically at war.

Lebanon and Israel aspire to share oil resources in territorial waters, after years of Washington mediation.

The third discussion session ended on October 29, with no results announced.

The official National Media Agency in Lebanon said the third round of indirect negotiations took place amid tight security measures taken by the Lebanese army in the border city of Naqoura.

The sessions will be held in a United Nations border post in southern Lebanon (UNIFIL), away from the media and in the midst of extreme secrecy.

Lebanon insists on the purely technical nature of the indirect talks, with the sole aim of demarcating the maritime borders, while Israel speaks of direct negotiations.

In 2018, Lebanon signed the first contract for exploration of gas and oil in two areas of its territorial waters, one of which, known as Block No. 9, is in the disputed part of Israel, and therefore not Lebanon has no option to work in this area except after the boundaries have been designated.

The National Agency reported that the Lebanese delegation carried “irrevocable maps and documents showing points of disagreement, and Israel’s violation of Lebanon’s right to annex part of Block 9”.

The negotiations concern a marine area extending to approximately 860 square kilometers, based on a map sent to the United Nations in 2011, which Lebanon later considered to be based on inaccurate estimates.

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