The negotiations between Israel and Lebanon over their disputed maritime border are set to resume. The Israeli delegation to the talks will meet the Lebanese delegation at the UNIFIL base in Nakura, on Lebanese territory by the border. The meeting will be attended by the US mediator John Droescher.
Asw reported by “Globes” last week, the Americans have initiated the renewal of negotiations following a direct appeal to Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, who agreed to the talks and dismissed attempts by ministers in the transition government to approve an order extending Lebanese sovereignty over an even large area of economic waters than are being disputed.
Israel’s Minister of Energy Yuval Steinitz has appointed Ministry of Energy director general Udi Adir to head Israel’s delegation to the talks. The delegation also includes Reuven Azar, foreign policy advisor to the prime minister. Steinitz met with the delegation today for consultations and to provide them with instructions.
The Lebanese delegation to the previous round of talks was made up of military personnel and there have been calls to have them replaced by civilian experts.
Lebanon needs to settle the dispute in order to be able to explore for gas. Discovering gas in its economic waters would help it out of its current dire economic crisis. However, Hezbollah has placed obstacles to prevent negotiations and the concern is that the Shiite organization will attempt to torpedo the talks.
Israel’s Ministry of Energy said that the aim of the talks is to examine options for reaching an agreement which sets the maritime border between the countries and finds a solution that will allow the development of natural resources in the region for the benefits of the peoples of the region.
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on May 3, 2021
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