Lebanon declares difficulties in maritime border talks can be overwhelmed
Islam News – President Michel Aoun said to U.S. mediator on Wednesday, Lebanon wants the maritime border talks to succeed, so the difficulties issued in the last session can be overwhelmed.
The negotiations between the old foes were launched in October, with delegations convening at a U.N. base to try to resolve a dispute about their maritime border that has held up hydrocarbon exploration in the potentially gas-rich area.
But a session scheduled for Wednesday was postponed with U.S. officials instead pursuing separate contact with the sides.
Aoun told visiting U.S. official John Desrocher that Lebanon wanted the talks to succeed to strengthen stability in southern Lebanon and allow for oil and gas investment.
“The difficulties that appeared in the last round of negotiations can be removed through in-depth research based on international law and the articles of the law of the sea,” Aoun told Desrocher, the presidency said in a statement.
Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Monday it had been agreed with the Americans that talks would be postponed for a few weeks.
The talks are the culmination of three years of diplomacy by Washington.
Disagreement over the sea border has discouraged oil and gas exploration near the disputed line.
The Lebanese group Hezbollah, which fought a month-long war with Israel in 2006, has said the talks are not a sign of peace-making with Israel.