Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun hinted at “many options” for Lebanon, if the Israelis did not respond to efforts to revive the negotiations to demarcate the maritime borders, asking the US mediator to “push towards fair and honest talks without preconditions.”
Held under the auspices and supervision of the United Nations, the indirect negotiations between Lebanon and Israel were suspended in May, following a fifth session held after a US intervention. But the discussions clashed with Israeli preconditions that toppled the sixth session, which was supposed to take place on May 5.
On Monday, Aoun met with the US mediator of indirect negotiations for the demarcation of the Lebanese southern maritime borders, Ambassador John Desrocher, who arrived in Beirut before a visit to Tel Aviv.
The Lebanese president stressed his country’s keenness to continue the indirect negotiations in Naqoura with US mediation, in order to reach an understanding that preserves the rights of the two sides based on international laws.
Aoun also asked Desrocher to push towards fair and impartial negotiations, without preconditions. He expressed hope that the US ambassador’s efforts would yield positive results, taking into account the new government change in Israel, which would require additional efforts to avoid further delays in the talks.
While he stressed “openness to the proposals presented within the framework of full Lebanese sovereignty on land and at sea,” Aoun noted that Lebanon has “several options in the event that the Israelis did not respond to the efforts made to move negotiations forward.”