| 3 March 2024, Sunday |

Lebanese-Israeli maritime agreement to be signed within 10 days

Lebanon’s deputy parliament Speaker Elias Bou Saab revealed the expected date for the completion of the demarcation settlement with Israel and the mechanism by which the agreement will be signed.

“The points that the United States has included in a letter will be sent to both Lebanon and Israel. Lebanon will respond by agreeing in writing to the message, and Israel will respond in the same way,” Bou Saab said in a television interview to be aired on Monday.

He added that the delivery of letters was likely to take place on Oct. 26 or 27 through the United Nations at Lebanon’s border area of Naqoura.

Asked about the Lebanese party that will sign the agreement letter, Bou Saab replied: “This decision is taken by the President of the Republic, who will choose the team that will head to Naqoura.”

The deputy speaker noted that the alternative to this agreement “could have been war or escalation.”

He said he believed that former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s threat to annul the agreement if he wins elections in November “is electoral talk,” adding that any breach would put US credibility at stake.

“The agreement also guarantees that there will be no provocation on the border, neither by [Hezbollah] nor any other party,” Bou Saab stressed.

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah had praised the US proposal, even before Aoun announced Lebanon’s official approval of it.

However, the head of Hezbollah’s Loyalty to the Resistance parliamentary bloc, MP Mohammad Raad, said on Sunday: “We still don’t trust this enemy and we will never do; that’s why, we have not yet announced our position.”

Meanwhile, Hezbollah deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassem described the demarcation agreement as a “historic achievement.”

“The resistance had a great impact on securing the maritime oil and gas rights for Lebanon; it will be a historic achievement when the signing takes place… This matter would not have happened without the solidarity between the state and the resistance…” Qassem said.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat