The Lebanese delegation meets with the Armed Forces Commander prior to border demarcation negotiations with Israel

General Joseph Aoun.


The delegation formed by Lebanon to negotiate with Israel on the demarcation of the maritime borders met with the Armed Forces Commander General Joseph Aoun, within the framework of preparatory meetings prior to the launch of the talks between the two parties under the auspices of the United Nations in southern Lebanon.

About 10 days ago, Lebanon and Israel announced that they had reached an understanding on starting negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations at its headquarters in Naqoura, southern Lebanon, in a step that Washington, which will assume the role of mediator and facilitator, described as "historic". The first meeting will be held next Wednesday.

The Lebanese delegation met the Armed Forces Commander in its first official meeting after naming its four members.

Yesterday, the Lebanese Army announced that General Joseph Aoun met with the delegation in charge of the negotiation file to demarcate the borders, and gave “basic directives for the launch of the negotiation process with the aim of demarcating the maritime borders on the basis of the line that starts from Ras Naqoura by land and extends by sea according to the midline technique, based on A study prepared by the Army Command in accordance with international laws.

The Lebanese delegation includes four members, both military and civilians, they are: Brigadier General Bassam Yassin, Colonel Mazen Basbous, technical expert Naguib Masih, and head of the Petroleum Sector Authority, Wissam Shabat.

According to a source in the Lebanese presidency, the delegation began its preparatory meetings, and that it will meet early next week with the President of the Republic, Michel Aoun, and then the representative of the United Nations Secretary-General Jan Kubis.

On the other hand, two days ago, Israel announced its delegation, which includes high-ranking officials, including Director-General of the Energy Ministry, Udi Adiri, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's diplomatic advisor, Reuven Azar, and the head of the Army’s Strategic Affairs Department.

According to Lebanese officials, direct negotiations will not take place between the two delegations. Rather, it will take place through a representative of the United Nations, even though all parties will sit in one room, but Israel said, according to Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, that the talks would be "direct".

Over the years, Washington led mediation between the two sides, and this coincided with Lebanon signing in 2018 the first contract to explore for gas and oil in its territorial waters, with a consortium of three companies, and one of the specified plots includes a disputed part with Israel.

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