Berri Hails 'Victory' in Border Demarcation Talks

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Wednesday described the outcome of the U.S.-mediated talks over the demarcation of the southern territorial and maritime borders as a “victory for the Lebanese stance.”

“He is optimistic and he considers what has happened so far as a victory for the official and popular Lebanese stance in terms of preserving sovereignty regarding the territorial and maritime resources,” MP Ali Bazzi said about Berri's stance following the weekly Ain el-Tineh meeting.

A top U.S. envoy has said Israel agreed to discuss disputed land and sea borders with Lebanon, which is eying hydrocarbon exploration off its coast, according to two Lebanese officials.

Last year, Lebanon signed its first contract to drill for oil and gas in its waters, including for a block disputed by Israel, with which it has fought several wars.

The U.S. State Department's acting assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs, David Satterfield, held a meeting in Beirut on Monday on his second visit in a week.

Satterfield "told officials Israel had agreed to hold negotiations to draw up the maritime border" with Lebanon, an official source who attended the meeting told AFP.

Israel also agreed to discuss the territorial frontier between the two countries, including several disputed areas, the source said.

A delegation from each side would take part in talks at the headquarters of the U.N. peacekeeping force in south Lebanon, UNIFIL, but the latter would not be a party to the talks, he added.

Another source familiar with the plan said negotiations would begin soon.

"There has been positive progress overall, and the issue is down to the last details before the start of the negotiations," they said.

Israel and Lebanon are still technically at war, although the last Israeli troops withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000 after two decades of occupation.

A consortium composed of energy giants Total, ENI and Novatek was awarded two of Lebanon's 10 exploration blocks last year.

It is set to start drilling in block 4 in December, and later in the disputed block 9.

Last year, Total said it was aware of the border dispute in less than eight percent of block 9 and said it would drill away from that area.

On April 5, Lebanon invited international consortia to bid for five more blocks, which include two also adjacent to Israel's waters.

Comments 6
Thumb whyaskwhy 22 May 2019, 17:41

Dont count your eggs before they hatch ya Berry....Being Lebanese this issues could potentially find many stumbling blocks.

Thumb canadianleb 22 May 2019, 20:06

Yah good luck with that Mr. Berri... don't cash your payment yet

Missing un520 22 May 2019, 23:20

If thats the case, then it shows that:
1: The USA can be trusted in negotiations
2. Hezbollah tactics is less effektive than diplomatic efforts.

Thumb whyaskwhy 22 May 2019, 23:36

Correct Un520 when a deal is to made the USA is good but if there is no money then the USA is the devil incarnate lol.

Thumb canadianleb 23 May 2019, 02:20

First no one knows what the demarcation deal is. So let's assume for a moment Lebanon got what is rightful Lebanon's do you believe that Ali baba and his 40 thieves will agree on what each one gets as " kick backs" everyone knows it will be a long time before that happens and before any oil or gas is produced. In the mean time Israel and Cyprus signed contracts and sold what they are producing and by the time Ali Baba wakes up to this fact no market is left for them so good luck getting any revenue from the oil fields.

Thumb kanaanljdid 23 May 2019, 10:32

Why not being courageous and just sitting and talk directly with Israel ? That way Lebanon could get easily what it wants in proposing a peace treaty for accepting Lebanon's territorial and maritime stance.