The second session of the second round of technical negotiations between Lebanon and Israel has ended to demarcate the maritime borders between them, with American mediation and UN supervision. The negotiations will resume next month.
After two days of meetings, the second round of negotiations, which was held at the headquarters of the United Nations forces (UNIFIL) in the Lebanese border town of Naqoura, came to an end, amid tight security measures taken by the Lebanese army, in which the Lebanese and Israeli delegations participated, in addition to the American mediator Ambassador Jean Derucher as well as Jan Kubic, the Secretary's representative. Year of the United Nations in Lebanon.
According to the official Lebanese News Agency, the country's delegation left the place of negotiations on board a military helicopter, and its head, Brigadier General Bassam Yassin, will go to the Baabda presidential palace, east of Beirut, to deposit the confidential minutes of these negotiations with the country's president, Michel Aoun.
The Lebanese delegation carried at the beginning of the meetings today compelling maps and documents showing points of disagreement, and Israel's violation of the Lebanese right to annex part of Block 9, considering that this matter violates the law of the sea, according to the agency itself.
The official Lebanese agency confirmed that the negotiating side "adheres to Lebanon's rights in every water point without compromising."
The negotiations concern a marine area extending to about 860 square kilometers, based on a map sent in 2011 to the United Nations, and Lebanon later considered it based on wrong estimates.
"Representatives of the governments of Israel and Lebanon held constructive talks mediated by the United States and hosted by the Office of the United Nations Coordinator for Lebanon," the United States and the United Nations said in a joint statement.
In the statement, they added that the two sides are committed to continuing negotiations next month, and a senior Lebanese source confirmed that the two sides would meet again on November 11.
On Wednesday, sources said, the two parties presented two opposing maps detailing the proposed borders that had in fact increased the size of the disputed area.
For his part, a Lebanese security source said that his country's proposal extends the borders more southward, compared to the borders that Beirut offered to the United Nations in the past.
A source familiar with the talks said that the Israeli map pushed the borders northward beyond Tel Aviv's original position.
These meetings are the culmination of diplomatic efforts made by Washington over a period of 3 years, and in the wake of a series of agreements in which 3 Arab countries (the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan) agreed to establish full relations with Israel.