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MARITIME BORDER

Lebanon officials issue response to US on maritime border negotiations

Lebanon officials issue response to US on maritime border negotiations

Michel Aoun, surrounded by Prime Minister Najib Mikati (l), and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, on Sept. 10, 2021 in Baabda. (Credit: Dalati and Nohra)

BEIRUT — President Michel Aoun, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Najib Mikati called on Washington to “continue its efforts” to resume negotiations, which have been suspended since December 2020. The three met in Baabda on Friday to formulate an official response to American diplomat Amos Hochstein, who visited Beirut on Feb. 9 and 10 to mediate maritime border negotiations between Lebanon and Israel.

Here’s what we know:

    • Hochstein, the US senior advisor for global energy security, had announced that the area disputed between Lebanon and its Israeli neighbor covered the 860 square kilometers located between line 1 officially claimed by Israel and line 23 claimed by Lebanon to the United Nations in 2011.

    • President Aoun had formed a commission to prepare the Lebanese response to Hochstein. This commission met several times at Baabda Palace, far from the media.

    • Aoun’s office issued a statement on Friday afternoon explaining that the three officials examined the remarks and questions formulated by the commission “with a view to achieving a unified position that guarantees Lebanon's rights and full sovereignty.”

    • “It was decided to call on the United States to continue its efforts to resume negotiations on the delimitation of the maritime border, under a framework agreement that guarantees Lebanon's best interests and the stability of the region,” the statement read.

    • According to local TV channel LBCI, the three officials said talks on the maritime border will take place during the indirect negotiations between Lebanon, United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and Israel in Naqoura.

    • Hezbollah has said that negotiations are a matter that concerns the state and not their party.

Negotiations between Lebanon and Israel on the maritime border have been interrupted since December 2020. Several opposition groups, and some senior members of the Lebanese Army, accuse the government of renouncing Lebanon's rights.


BEIRUT — President Michel Aoun, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Najib Mikati called on Washington to “continue its efforts” to resume negotiations, which have been suspended since December 2020. The three met in Baabda on Friday to formulate an official response to American diplomat Amos Hochstein, who visited Beirut on Feb. 9 and 10 to mediate maritime border...