Berri Says Israel Bid to Share Lebanon Gas 'Categorically Rejected'

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Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri emphasized Wednesday that Lebanon will not allow Israel to seize control of parts of its offshore oil and gas fields.

“Lebanon's stance is unified and coherent in terms of defending our sovereignty, oil resources and maritime and territorial borders,” Berri said during his weekly Ain el-Tineh meeting with lawmakers.

“The Israeli equation 'What's ours is ours and what's yours is ours and yours' is categorically rejected and shall not pass,” the Speaker underlined.

U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield arrived Wednesday in Lebanon following talks in Israel over the latest gas dispute. He has been shuttling between Lebanon and Israel since February 7 in a mediation endeavor.

Lebanon this month signed its first contract to drill for oil and gas in a pair of offshore zones, including one that Israel says belongs to it.

Lebanese officials have said the whole zone belongs to Lebanon while Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has insisted it is solidly in Israeli territory.

Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz has told Satterfield that "a diplomatic solution is preferable for both sides."

A consortium comprising energy giants Total, ENI, and Novatek has pledged to begin drilling off of Lebanon's coast by 2019.

Comments 6
Missing phillipo 21 February 2018, 17:38

So once again the Lebanese Government is preparing to receive
100% of nothing, rather than a considerable percentage of something.
Also remember, talk with the Israelis can not make the present situation
any worse, only better.

Thumb s.o.s 21 February 2018, 18:43

It's better for us to die proud rather than live in shame. A concept Zionists can't grasp. Honor and dignity is something Israelians and mitwelians don't get.

Missing phillipo 21 February 2018, 21:56

I don't see the Egyptians and Jordanians living in shame. I've been there, have you?

Missing un520 22 February 2018, 16:45

Ramat Jalloh, a specialist in maritime law from the International Maritime Law Institute, told Al Jazeera over the phone from her office in Malta that unilateral annexation is not a legal option.

"International law is very clear on this, in cases where states share a maritime zone, perhaps a border like the case with Israel and Lebanon, it is customary to divide the territory between the states that sit near that maritime area," Jalloh said. "This should always be achieved through bilateral and mutual treaties or agreements. In other words, both sides must meet at a halfway point."

Thumb canadianleb 21 February 2018, 17:49

Block 9 is 100% Lebanese so why should it be shared with Israel? so how about we give them a % of Block 9 if they give Lebanon a % of the Tamar reservoir and Leviathan.

Missing un520 22 February 2018, 13:10

But according to you, the Israelis didn`t just hit mattar Hariri, but Rafik Hariri himself. Yet you did not do anything to them. Howcome?