Lebanon-Israel demarcation talks held

Written by The Frontier Post

NAQOURA (AA): A fifth round of negotiations betw-een Lebanon and Israel on their maritime border dem-arcation kicked off on Tue-sday, the official Lebanese News Agency reported.

The UN-brokered negotiations were held at the headquarters of the United Nations Interim Force (UNIFIL) in the Naqoura region in southern Lebanon.

According to the agency, the talks come “to discuss the demarcation of the maritime borders, as Lebanon stresses its right to all its maritime wealth”.

No further details were provided about the duration of the negotiations.

Former US Ambassador to Algeria John Desrocher is the mediator in the talks.

On Monday, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said Lebanon’s response to the resumption of the indirect negotiations “reflects its desire to maintain stability and security in the region”, underlining “the importance of correcting the maritime borders in accordance with international laws and regulations”.

Lebanon is locked in a dispute with Israel over an area in the Mediterranean Sea spanning about 860 square kilometers (some 332 square miles), known as Zone No. 9, which is rich with oil and gas.

In 2016, Beirut announced the launch of the first round of licenses for exploration.

The maritime borders between Lebanon and Israel have not seen any military conflicts, unlike their land borders.

Lebanese group Hezbollah controls the area bordering Israel, and sporadic incidents take place from time to time as Tel Aviv accuses the Shia group of attempting to breach the border.

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