NAQURA: Lebanon and Israel resumed US-mediated negotiations over their disputed maritime border on Tuesday after a months-long hiatus, in efforts to clear the way in which for offshore oil and fuel exploration.
The talks, between nations nonetheless technically at struggle, kicked off on the UN base within the city of Naqura in southern Lebanon, the Nationwide Information Company mentioned.
Washington mentioned Friday they had been to be brokered by US diplomat John Desrocher, and referred to as the resumption of talks “a constructive step towards a long-awaited decision.”
Lebanon and Israel final 12 months took half in oblique US-brokered talks to debate demarcation.
However these talks stalled after Lebanon demanded a bigger space, together with a part of the Karish fuel subject, the place Israel has given exploration rights to a Greek agency.
The talks final 12 months had been supposed to debate a Lebanese demand for 860 sq. kilometers (330 sq. miles) of territory within the disputed maritime space, in accordance with a map despatched to the United Nations in 2011.
However Lebanon then mentioned the map was based mostly on faulty calculations and demanded 1,430 sq. kilometers (552 sq. miles) extra territory additional south, together with a part of Karish.
“The dialogue will begin from the place we left it off,” a supply on the Lebanese presidency informed AFP on Tuesday.
He mentioned each Israel and Lebanon had demanded a special demarcation line.
“We don’t settle for the road they’ve proposed, and so they don’t settle for ours, so we’ll see what the mediator suggests.”
Final month, President Michel Aoun Thursday demanded Israel halt all exploration in Karish till the dispute was settled.
In February 2018, Lebanon signed its first contract for offshore drilling for oil and fuel in blocks 4 and 9, with a consortium comprising vitality giants Complete, ENI and Novatek.
Lebanon in April mentioned preliminary drilling in Block 4 had proven traces of fuel however no commercially viable reserves.
Lebanon’s authorities stepped down after a large blast at Beirut’s port in August 2020, however deeply divided politicians have been unable to type a brand new cupboard ever since.
Lebanese politicians hope that commercially viable hydrocarbon assets off Lebanon’s coast might assist raise the debt-ridden nation out of its worst financial disaster in a long time.