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Lebanon’s Military Delegation to Border Negotiations Asks Govt for 'Bold Decision'

Lebanon’s Military Delegation to Border Negotiations Asks Govt for 'Bold Decision'

Friday, 19 March, 2021 - 06:30
An aerial view shows the newly arrived foundation platform of Leviathan natural gas field, in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Haifa, Israel January 31, 2019. Marc Israel Sellem/Pool/File Photo

The Lebanese delegation negotiating the demarcation of maritime border with Israel said it would resume the talks only if the Lebanese authorities amended a decree submitted to the United Nations in 2010 to include the new demands by Lebanon.

The head of the negotiating team, Brigadier General Pilot Bassam Yassin, said: “We need strong politicians, and we will take care of attaining our rights.”

“The military go to battle to win it. Negotiations are like war,” he added.

Talks over the demarcation of the maritime borders between Lebanon and Israel stopped following four sessions, after the two negotiating teams reportedly raised the ceilings of their demands.

During the second session, the Lebanese delegation submitted maps showing that the disputed area extended over 2,290 square kilometers - according to what is known as the border line 29 – and not the previously stated 860 square kilometers. These maps cut off part of the Karish oil field currently explored by Israel.

The negotiating delegation is now calling on the Lebanese authorities to deposit the new updates before the United Nations, its four members said in a seminar held at the Arab Open University on Thursday.

“There is no reason preventing the political authority from taking a bold stance, achieving the interests of its people and protecting its future,” Yassin emphasized.

This is the first clash of its kind between the negotiating team and the political authority.

“We need strong politicians to sign the decree, and we will take care of getting [Lebanon’s] right,” Yassin said in response to a question.

He noted that since the start of the negotiations, the Lebanese Army has asked President Michel Aoun that the talks be direct and the government submit an amended decree to the UN.

“If the new decree is not issued, we will not return to the negotiations,” Yassin asserted.

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