U.S. Suggests New Proposal to End Maritime Dispute between Lebanon, Israel

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The U.S. suggested a new proposal to end the dispute between Lebanon and Israel over the two countries Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), As Safir newspaper reported on Friday.

According to the newspaper, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Diplomacy Amos Hochstein paid a quick visit to Beirut on November 9 in an attempt to resolve the ongoing dispute.

Hochstein proposed the demarcation of the two countries maritime border by establishing a “maritime Blue line,” similar to the U.N.-drawn Blue Line that separates southern Lebanon and northern Israel, where the disputed zones would not be exploited by any of the two countries until the demarcation ends.

The report said that oil in gas investments would kick off in the meantime in the undisputed areas, according to an understanding between the two sides.

Lebanon and Israel are bickering over a maritime zone that consists of about 854 square kilometers and suspected energy reserves there could generate billions of dollars.

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati confirmed in comments published in As Safir that the U.S. proposed a new solution, considering it a “reasonable proposal.

He pointed out that the proposal requires consultations with President Michel Suleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri and Caretaker Energy Minister Jebran Bassil “in order to act responsibly with the matter and take a decision that would be in the country's best interest.”

For his part, Bassil told the newspaper that several other suggestions were proposed.

“The matter surpassed demarcation of maritime border as discussions have reached the size of the resources,” he noted.

“Unfortunately, the matter requires a steadfast decision by the Lebanese and serious steps to advance in the matter,” Bassil said.

Lebanese officials continuously expressed fear that Israel's discovery of a new offshore gas field near Lebanese territorial waters means the Jewish state could siphon some of Lebanon's crude oil.

Lebanon has been slow to exploit its maritime resources compared with other eastern Mediterranean countries. Israel, Cyprus and Turkey are all much more advanced in drilling for oil and gas.

In March 2010, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated a mean of 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil and a mean of 34.5 trillion cubic meters of recoverable gas in the Levant Basin in the eastern Mediterranean, which includes the territorial waters of Lebanon, Israel, Syria and Cyprus.

The U.S. had offered to mediate between the sides in an attempt to reach a solution.

Beirut argues that a maritime map it submitted to the U.N. is in line with an armistice accord drawn up in 1949, an agreement which is not contested by Israel.

Comments 24
Default-user-icon Omar (Guest) 29 November 2013, 10:17

that's one silly rebuttal

Thumb sevilla 29 November 2013, 10:19

Southern: Do you know Moldova? Yes, Moldovaaaaaaaaaa! They just been granted visa free entry into the EU, and you still talking about Saudi/Wahabi/Zionist/Resistance..... For heavens sake!!!!!! WAKE UP!!!! You people have destroyed this country..... ENOUGH!

Thumb benzona 29 November 2013, 15:29

Seriously? Are we going to see Moldovans in western Europe?

Thumb benzona 29 November 2013, 15:30

LOL icey! Riding on the back of one of his drones.

He's a drone himself.

Thumb benzona 29 November 2013, 15:46

I checked on the x100s. Its well rated and looks sleek. Thanks. I'll be considering replacing mine in march.

Missing phillipo 29 November 2013, 11:27

An interesting article, except for one point.
The negotiator was in Beirut on 9th November. That was 20 days ago, yet there is no mention in the article whether Lebanon accepts the proposal or not.
What is the Government waiting for?
If they say yes, then it will be up to the Israelis to show their true faces. If Israel answers yes, then it is good for both countries, if she answers no, then the whole world will know who is being obstinate in this matter.
If the Lebanese Government says no, then it will prove to the world that they don't want any form of accomodation with Israel, at the high cost of affecting the economy of Lebanon.

Default-user-icon Lebanon1st (Guest) 29 November 2013, 12:32

Why isen't phillipo banned? He is clearly a payed talkbacker who is on a mission to defend israel every time it is mentioned.


Thumb FlameCatcher 29 November 2013, 15:46

@FT : you amaze me with your capacity to analyse anything. The only thing youre good at is being "anal" and spreading "lies" > analies is how you should spell it !

Thumb FlameCatcher 29 November 2013, 14:55

Yet you sign a deal with the US and by proxy Israel. They are your partners now.

Tell me, if they build an Oil well, will you bomb it ? How will you stop them ?

Will you risk destroying our Lebanese shores with oil pollution ? You have no problem killing our tourist industry anyway so it wouldn't be a problem for you.

Will any oil company accept to invest billions in oil extraction if this is not settled ?

Will any oil company invest with Hezbollah armed militias in the country ?

Will you eliminate Israel before we explore our oil ?

What is your plan exactly ?

You're big on words that we need to extract oil but what is your damn plan ? NOTHING !

Thumb FlameCatcher 29 November 2013, 17:18

@FT : binary thinking ? are you describing yourself ? This isn't a facebook bio !

Explain ... how you reach this conclusion. Elaborate with your rich arguments ...

Thumb FlameCatcher 29 November 2013, 18:35

@Southern : before lecturing others on accepting UN resolutions. Why don't you accept Lebanese laws you seem to break all the time.

Once you do that, we can talk UN !

Now send your assassins to court. Many of them are required for questionning by Lebanese courts (not STL). Or you don't believe in Lebanese courts either ?

Missing peace 29 November 2013, 20:11

southern talking UN resolutions? LOL what about telling your hezbi friends to pressure assad to hand over the official documents to the UN proving shebaa is lebanese not syrian? then it would fall under UN 425 and not UN 242... and the israelis would retreat peacefully abiding by the UN 425...

but of course if lebanon is TOTALLY free from israel how would hezbi justify their militia anymore! bad for their business....

Missing greatpierro 29 November 2013, 21:05

Speak about yourself. You may not support peace with Israel but some lebanese support and wish for peace with Israel. This is democracy and different people may have different opinions. But that you may not understand.

Missing peace 29 November 2013, 23:06

BTW bigjohn: it is thanks to the usa that bashar is still in power! they do not want bashar removed unless they are sure the one to take his place will not go at war against israel.... because bashar protects its borders while using lebanon as their war zone!
how come you hate usa as they protect bashar? LOL

Missing peace 30 November 2013, 00:58

if the usa wanted bashar out they would have sent more than a few weapons.....think of it...

Missing greatpierro 29 November 2013, 13:32

You are being silly and racist. At least Israeli when they made peace they respected their agreements. Whereas when hizbullah signed on the Baabda declaration they did not abide by it. I would rather trust a Jew rather then hizbullah and Iran.

Thumb FlameCatcher 29 November 2013, 14:13

@Greatpierro : Hezbollah broke every promise, every deal they made. They cannot be trusted. They even broke promises made to Aoun which struggles to defend them rather than break his deal with them.

They have no place in rebuilding our country.

In fact, they have no interest in rebuilding it.

They have no honour and no trust from the rest of the Lebanese. Even their close partners cannot predict Hezbollah behaviour and have to face the consequences.

Hezbollah must and will be eliminated.

Missing peace 29 November 2013, 22:09

"The problem is the Israelis NEVER made peace!!!"

jordan, egypt...

"HA has more support in Lebanon than the M14 minority"

pure personal assumption hezbis love to believe....

hezbollah will fall because of its arrogance... remember the old greek myth of icarus? He ignored instructions not to fly too close to the sun, and the melting wax caused him to fall into the sea where he drowned.

just like hezbis will by believing they are superior to the state of lebanon and to the will of lebanese....

Missing peace 29 November 2013, 23:02

"MOST of the Egyptians and Jordanians OPPOSE any relations with Israel."

so what? is there any wars between the two countries? NO... even if the people do not like israel they can enjoy peace at least!!!!
irrelevant argument then...

"not weak states governed by worthless hated leaders."
LOL the perfect hezbi excuse: they make the state weak then come and cry it is weak !LOL
and i guess then you hate the M8 government? because they are at the gvt now not M14! LOL

Missing peace 30 November 2013, 01:07

oh! i see... then you prefer war to a state of peace to satisfy your ego and the one of your iranian milita... good then.

and yes hezbis make the state weak and you perfectly know why....but refuse to admit it!
when one is blind nothing can make him see... so i won't argue endlessly on this as you will never be convinced even with the strongest arguemnts you ll always find an excuse.

so i hope you ll enjoy another war in lebanon and see people die as it is what you prefer to satisfy your pride! destroy your country, let hundreds be killed all that to follow stupid extremists that feed you with their propaganda, like all extremists always did throughout history! nothing new...
oh! in 1975 everyone thought they were right: result: thousands of killed and no winner only a country on its knees just to satisfy that same old pride! ........

it takes courage to make peace but nothing to make war!

Thumb FlameCatcher 29 November 2013, 14:04

It's weird, you just signed a deal with Israel.

You also follow a non-arab country religiously.

And ..

How can you trust a shiite party with weapons to defend "All lebanese" equally against Israel ?

How can you trust an Iranian Jihadist Extremist and Terrorist organisation (aka Hezbollah) to defend Lebanon before defending themselves ?

You showed that you are incapable of proving me wrong. The only thing Arab and Lebanese about Hezbollah is its supporters... Its politics, its funding, its weapons, its accountability is towards Iran only !

i don't trust Iran and neither does most of the Lebanese. no more than they trust saudi...

Thumb benzona 29 November 2013, 15:35

His properties should be seized and auctioned to the general public, which would be broadcasted on live TV

Thumb ado.australia 29 November 2013, 19:26

The result of the p5+1, iran nuclear deal? no. Wonder Israel is spitting chips... No more freedom to steal our gas and oil without international scrutiny. The U.S. wants a resolution so their oil companies can profit through the contracts! Money money money.

Missing phillipo 29 November 2013, 20:26

'Our" when you live in Australia?
Who are you kidding