Naharnet

Connelly Suggested that Lebanon Drills Oil in Territorial Waters Pending Resolution of Conflict

U.S. Ambassador Maura Connelly has reportedly asked Speaker Nabih Berri why Lebanon would not strike deals with companies to start oil exploration in its territorial waters as Israel did pending a solution to its conflict with the Jewish state on the Exclusive Economic Zone.

Media reports quoted Berri as answering Connelly that the maritime border line between Lebanon and Israel should be drawn. “If someone is seeking or working to reach a peace agreement between Lebanon and Israel to settle the oil issue, then this didn’t and won’t happen.”

The ambassador stressed that the crisis should be solved through the U.N. But the speaker told her that the solution to the new Lebanese-Israeli maritime conflict comes through a series of talks between officers from Lebanon and Israel under the auspices of the U.N. to demarcate the maritime border.

When Berri asked Connelly about reports that U.S. envoy Frederic Hof was planning to visit Beirut to discuss about the conflict, Connelly said she had no information about such a trip.

But the media reports said Berri has told his visitors that he is ready to meet Hof if he visits Beirut. The diplomat allegedly has good knowledge of the issue as well as of mapping affairs.


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