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Lebanon Sets Starting Point for Sea Border Negotiations With Israel

Lebanon Sets Starting Point for Sea Border Negotiations With Israel

Thursday, 19 November, 2020 - 20:15
FILE PHOTO: A UN naval ship is pictured off the Lebanese coast in the town of Naqoura, near the Lebanese-Israeli border, southern Lebanon October 14, 2020. REUTERS/Aziz Taher/File Photo

Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Thursday specified the starting point for demarcating sea border with Israel under US-mediated talks.

Israel and Lebanon launched the negotiations last month with delegations from both sides convening at a UN base to try to agree on the unresolved border that has held up hydrocarbon exploration in the potentially gas-rich area.

A Presidency statement said Aoun instructed the Lebanese team that the demarcation line should start from the land point of Ras Naqoura as defined under a 1923 agreement and extend seaward in a trajectory that a security source said extends the disputed area to some 2,300 square km from around 860 square km, Reuters reported.

Last month sources said the two sides presented contrasting maps for proposed borders. They said the Lebanese proposal extended farther south than the border Lebanon had years before presented to the United Nations and that of the Israeli team pushing the boundary farther north than Israel’s original position.

The talks, the culmination of three years of diplomacy by Washington, are due to resume in December.

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