BEIRUT, June 14 (EFE) – Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Tuesday conveyed to US mediator Amos Hochstein an official response to the plan proposed by Washington to resolve the dispute over border waters with Israel, and hopes that the offer will be communicated to the Jewish state in “the few days” coming.”
The Presidency of the Mediterranean state said on its Twitter account after the meeting, “He submitted a response to the American proposal that he put forward months ago, that Mr. Hochstein conveys the Lebanese position to the Israeli side in the coming days.” between the two.
Negotiations to demarcate the maritime border between Lebanon and Israel began in October 2020 through interlocutors from the United Nations and Washington, but were suspended more than a year ago due to disagreements on a series of points.
However, a week ago, the Lebanese authorities invited Hochstein to Beirut to discuss the matter and try to reach an agreement “as soon as possible”, after Israel sent a new natural gas platform days before to a disputed area between the nation. .
The Presidency explained that “President Aoun demanded, during his meeting with the American mediator, Lebanon’s sovereign rights over water and natural resources,” adding that they expect a response from the neighboring country “quickly.”
Hochstein, the US Energy Security Adviser, concluded today a two-day visit to Lebanon, during which he discussed the matter with Army Commander General Joseph Aoun and Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
In his meeting with the mediator, Mikati stressed that the priority is “to start the process of drilling for oil without giving up all of Lebanon’s rights to its wealth,” according to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.
Lebanon suffers from a serious energy crisis in the midst of its economic depression, with constant fuel shortages and barely any state electricity, while bids circulated to explore its undisputed coast have yielded no results so far.
The exploitation of energy resources in the Mediterranean is behind the border dispute between the two neighboring countries, which have fought two major wars and some minor conflicts, and which have had a UN peacekeeping mission on their land borders since 1978.
amo-njd / ppa / rml
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