BEIRUT — The Lebanese Army announced on Wednesday that a tripartite meeting was held on Tuesday between Lebanon, Israel and UNIFIL and that the parties discussed the land border demarcation between the two countries, though did not reach an agreement.
"A tripartite meeting was held in Naqoura, headed by the Commander of the UNIFIL, Major General Aroldo Lazaro, and in the presence of a delegation of Lebanese Army officers ... to discuss the 13 points claimed by Lebanon, without reaching an agreement," a short Lebanese Army statement read.
Lebanon contends that its borders were demarcated in 1923 through the Paulet-Newcombe agreement between the British and French governments. Following the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, the United Nations drew a demarcation line between the two, known as the "Blue Line."
However, there are 13 disputed points that were not marked by this Blue Line which are mainly located in the three occupied villages of Ghajar, Kfar Shuba and the Shebaa farms.
The Army added on Wednesday that "it was decided that meetings would continue under the auspices of the United Nations."
The Army also "denied the information circulating about reaching an agreement in this regard."
UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti told L'Orient Today that "discussions that take place in tripartite meetings are confidential." However, he noted that "media reports over the last day contain speculation that does not accurately reflect the discussions that took place."
"Such reports based on unconfirmed rumors have the potential to jeopardize the progress achieved so far in reducing tensions and advancing discussions on unresolved matters along the Blue Line," Tenenti added."The intention is to continue with the discussions under UNIFIL auspices with the ultimate objective of addressing all issues along the Blue Line."
Tuesday's meeting follows several months of tensions over Lebanon's southern border, including at the village of Ghajar, which Israeli forces de facto annexed in July.