The President of the Republic, Michel Aoun, tweeted: “I regret that a large part of the Lebanese officials and media are ignorant of the constitution and are drowning in nationally harmful statements about the president’s position, role and oath. The presidency is outside the target circle.”
He added, “The president begins negotiating international treaties and agreements, then concludes them with the Prime Minister, then the Council of Ministers, and finally, the House of Representatives, on the terms of Article 52 of the Constitution.”
Aoun’s words came after Hezbollah escalated the maritime border demarcation file, through MP Muhammad Raad’s announcement that the American mediator in gas exploration in Lebanon had come to Lebanon in the past few days to play the role of a fox in dividing cheese between the disputants, in order for us to be able to explore in our territorial waters to extract gas and pay our debts for it, ” he tells you, you will drill with water, and it is possible that the gas field will be shared between you and the Israeli.”
Aoun added: “We say, we will keep our gas buried in our waters until we can prevent the Israeli from laying his hand on one drop of water from our waters. We are not minors. We will not allow the Israeli to explore for gas without being able to explore for it in our waters.”
It is believed that this stance, which primarily and directly targeted the American mediator, indirectly affected the efforts led by Aoun and the head of the “Free Patriotic Movement” Gebran Bassil to complete the demarcation deal with Hochstein before the end of the covenant’s era, especially since Raad was clear in his threat to keep the gas buried in Lebanese waters unless we invest it as we want.”
This means that the indirect negotiations have been postponed indefinitely, especially since Lebanon will be preoccupied over the coming months with more than one file, the most important of which are negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and the parliamentary elections, and then the presidential elections.