BEIRUT — A coalition of opposition MPs made a statement Thursday announcing their support for the amendment of law 163 to delineate Lebanon’s maritime borders through Line 29 amid disputes over natural gas exploration with Israel.
Here’s what we know:
• The statement criticized “executive powers’” handling of indirect negotiations with Israel over maritime borders and accused them of displaying “a lack of care concerning Lebanon’s interests, particularly as regards the issue of Line 29.” The MPs found that Lebanon had a rightful claim to Line 29, supported by meetings with American negotiator Amos Hochstein, who reportedly said discussions with Lebanese authorities concerned “lines lower than Line 29.”
• The draft amendment to the law proposes “the adoption of Line 29 instead of Line 23, which safeguards Lebanon’s rights, as danger is imminent with the excesses of the Israeli enemy in its encroachment on Lebanon’s maritime rights and resources.”
• Lebanon’s stance in negotiations Monday, held during Hochstein’s visit, was described as attempting to “secure” the Qana gas field and “negotiate” on line 29, which adds an extra 1,430 square kilometers to gives Lebanon’s maritime borders.
• MPs considered the “continued presence” of the floating production, storage and offloading unit, deployed June 5 on behalf of the Israeli state with the aim to start drilling the Karish gas field, sparking tension among politicians and experts, “a threat to Lebanon’s sovereign rights, targeting [Lebanon’s] potential natural maritime resources.”
• Indirect negotiations between Lebanon and Israel to demarcate maritime borders started in 2011, based on Lebanese claims registered at the United Nations through Decree No. 6433, claiming an 860-square-kilometer zone delimited by Line 23. Negotiations were interrupted after Lebanon announced its intention to claim an additional 1,430-square-kilometer area delineated by Line 29, which bisects the disputed Karish field, but have postponed making the necessary amendments to Decree No. 6433.
• The MPs backing the amendment are “Ibrahim Mneimneh, Elias Jaradeh, Paula Yacoubian, Halimé Kaakour, Ramy Finge, Cynthia Zarazir, Firas Hamdan, Mark Daou, Melhem Khalaf, Michel Douaihy, Najat Aoun, Waddah Sadek and Yassin Yassin.” Opposition MPs participated in a sit-in on June 11 in Naqoura to reclaim Line 29 as the delineation of Lebanon’s maritime borders after having held a press conference on June 6 to state their position.
BEIRUT — A coalition of opposition MPs made a statement Thursday announcing their support for the amendment of law 163 to delineate Lebanon’s maritime borders through Line 29 amid disputes over natural gas exploration with Israel.Here’s what we know: • The statement criticized “executive powers’” handling of indirect negotiations with Israel over maritime borders and accused...