Satterfield in Ain el-Tineh, Meets Berri

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U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield, mediating a dispute between Lebanon and Israel over offshore gas drilling rights, held talks with Speaker Nabih Berri in Ain el-Tineh on Thursday, LBCI said.

Ain el-Tineh sources told LBCI that “Lebanon will not waiver its oil rights. All the Americans have is the Hoff Line suggestion and the Israeli's are trying their best to circumvent the situation.”

A statement issued by Berri's press office said "there was nothing new in today's meeting."

"The Speaker's stance has not changed," the statement added.

Satterfield has also been holding talks with Lebanese officials on the subject.

On Wednesday he met with Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil.

Berri had 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 meeting with lawmakers.

The U.S. official was in occupied Palestine before he flew to Beirut for oil dispute talks.

The dispute dates back years but recently resurfaced when Lebanon invited companies to bid for exploratory offshore drilling next year along the countries' maritime border.

Israel claims Lebanon will be drilling partly in areas owned by Israel.

Lebanon and Israel are technically at war, and quarrel over their land borders.

Lebanon is protesting a wall Israel is building along the cessation of hostilities line, following Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000. It says the border wall may jut into Lebanese territories.

Comments 7
Thumb patriotic 22 February 2018, 14:46

those Americans are getting mad working on behalf their partners thieves in middle east, the zionists.

Missing un520 22 February 2018, 16:54

You that the US could just sit and do nothing, and thereby giving the Israelis carte blanche to take whatever they want, don`t you?

Thumb canadianleb 22 February 2018, 16:50

Lets hope the politicians will stand tough on this. But we all know that this will not be the case due to the rampant corruption in the country. We ranked 143 out of 180 on the corruption Index.

Missing un520 22 February 2018, 16:55

BTW, read this and go and figure: 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 22 February 2018, 17:04

The UN, as well as Secretary of State David Satterfield stated that Block 9 is 100% Lebanese. So in reality there is nothing to negotiate. Keep in mind you give Israel an inch they will take a mile they will be after the Litani. Let's hope that Lebanon stands it's ground and doesn't give in but with all the corruptions in the country this will be difficult as we ranked 143 out of 148 on the corruption perception index.

Missing un520 22 February 2018, 23:39

"The UN stated"...I am looking forward to the link, canadianleb. And regarding Satterfields "statement"...thats according to a report from Al Hayat that I find not very likely.

Missing un520 24 February 2018, 02:06

So, a thumbs down from canadianleb, but no link to statements from UN. President Aoun said yesterday that he consider presenting the case to the relevant authorities at UN, so for sure it hasnt reached their table yet.
And please use your brain: Why the h..l should Satterfield state that block 9 is 100% lebanese, and then go on to negotiate? Doesnt make sense...