At a UNIFIL border post in Naqoura
Lebanon and Israel hold a new round of maritime border demarcation negotiations
UNIFIL forces in the Naqoura area.
Yesterday, the third round of technical negotiations on demarcating the maritime borders between Lebanon and Israel, under the auspices of the United Nations and American mediation, was held at a border point of the United Nations force in southern Lebanon (UNIFIL) in the city of Naqoura.
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 false estimates.
Lebanon claims an additional area of 1,430 square kilometers that includes part of the Karish field.
An Israeli source familiar with the negotiations said that the Israeli delegation proposed a "line north of the borders of the disputed area," stressing that "a line south of the area will not be discussed," as Lebanon proposes.
And the Israeli Ministry of Energy had published the text of a letter it sent to the Greek company operating in the Karish field, in which it affirmed that “there is no change or possibility of change in the status of Israeli territorial waters south of the disputed area, and between them, of course, the Karish and Tanin fields.”
In 2018, Lebanon signed the first contract to explore for gas and oil in two areas of its territorial waters, one of which, known as Block No. 9, is located in the disputed part with Israel.
Consequently, there is no option for Lebanon to operate in this territory except after the borders are demarcated.
Lebanese sources said that “the demarcation file is threatened with the rejection of the Israeli negotiating delegation what the Lebanese side carried in the last two sessions,” explaining that “while the two parties went to negotiate an area of 860 kilometers (disputed), new lines began to proliferate after Israel rejected the Lebanese demand.”
The negotiations relate to a marine area extending to about 860 square kilometers.
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