Israeli, Lebanese leaders say 'historic' US-brokered sea border deal reached

AFP , Xinhua , Tuesday 11 Oct 2022

Israeli and Lebanese leaders announced on Tuesday that the final version of the proposal to demarcate the maritime border has been reached.

Najib Makati and his deputy Elias Bou Saab
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Makati, right, receives the final draft of the maritime border agreement between Lebanon and Israel from his deputy Elias Bou Saab who leads the Lebanese negotiating team, in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022. Israel s prime minister said Tuesday that the country has reached an historic agreement with neighboring Lebanon over their shared maritime border after months of US-brokered negotiations. AP


Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said on the day that he will convene the cabinet and government to approve the US-brokered deal on Wednesday, according to a statement issued by his office.

"This is a historic achievement that will strengthen Israel's security, inject billions into Israel's economy, and ensure the stability of our northern border," Lapid said.

For his part, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Tuesday that the final version of the proposal is satisfying to Lebanon, according to a statement by Lebanon's Presidency.

Lebanon's Deputy Parliament Speaker Elias Bou Saab received the final version of the proposal from US Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein late Monday evening and assured that Lebanon succeeded in getting what it asked for.

Aoun will conduct the necessary consultations with the house speaker and the prime minister to discuss the final version of the agreement, Bou Saab added.

The negotiations on maritime border demarcation between the two sides were launched in 2020 under the auspices of the United Nations with American mediation and then stopped in May 2021 due to differences between the two parties over the disputed area.

The years-long dispute concerns an area in the Eastern Mediterranean where at least two natural gas fields are located, the Israeli-developed Karish gas field and Qana, a smaller gas field that has yet to be explored.

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