Wehbe Says Lebanon Not Recognizing Israel, Vows 'Fierce' Negotiations
Caretaker Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe announced Tuesday that by holding maritime border demarcation talks with Israel, Lebanon will not be “recognizing” Israel as a state nor “normalizing” ties with it.
“We are not making an agreement to recognize the state of Israel… We are negotiating to agree on the demarcation of the maritime border. We will not normalize ties nor agree to peace treaties,” Wehbe told reporters at the Foreign Ministry.
Commenting on Israeli remarks suggesting that the negotiations with Lebanon will be easy because it is going through a financial crisis, Wehbe said: “We are going to the negotiations with firmness that exceeds the enemy’s imagination.”
“They consider that we are a state whose economy is destroyed and in ruins… but I say that the Lebanese negotiators will be much fiercer than they imagine, because we have nothing to lose,” the minister added.
He also noted that Lebanese authorities have been keen on maintaining silence regarding the negotiations.
“Silence is not weakness, nor lack of awareness, nor diplomatic ignorance, but rather a stance and a plan that confuse the enemy,” Wehbe pointed out.
He added that “negotiations with an enemy state require cleverness, patience, firmness and farsightedness,” calling on the Lebanese delegation to “cling to these characteristics.”