Mansour: Israel's Demarcation of Maritime Border Threatens Regional Stability, Produces No Legal Consequencesإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Caretaker Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour stated on Saturday that Israel's unilateral decision to demarcate the maritime border with Lebanon does not produce any legal obligations for the country.
“Israel's step does not produce any legal obligations for Lebanon as if it never happened,” Mansour stated, considering it also a violation of International Law and of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
He explained: “Article 74 of the corresponding law stipulates that the accord on demarcation of adjacent and facing economic zones is based on International Law, just as article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice says.”
“Accordingly, Israel's unilateral decision to demarcate the maritime border and violate Lebanon's rights is an aggressive act of theft and piracy of the country's oil and gas resources.”
“This is a very dangerous decision if adopted by Israel, and it threatens stability, security and peace in the region,” Mansour warned.
“Israel is held fully responsible for all consequences that such a step might produce.”
The caretaker minister urged Lebanese factions to fill the vacuum in the state's institutions in order for Lebanon to assume its national responsibility and face “Israel's new violation” with all legal means.
Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth daily has said that Israel is seeking to demarcate the maritime border in the area disputed with Lebanon through a draft law that will be proposed at the Knesset.
President Michel Suleiman's circles told the daily As Safir that Lebanon will not recognize any “unilateral” Israeli action in this matter, stressing that the demarcation should abide by international rules.
In November, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Diplomacy Amos 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.
Oil and 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.