| 20 May 2024, Monday |

A US official is likely to visit Beirut soon, Lebanon wants to negotiate, but confused!

In principle, Lebanon is awaiting soon for the visit of the US official Amos Hochstein, who will survey the political situation after forming the new Cabinet, and he will overview the course of Lebanese developments in all fields according to the international opportunity given to rescue.

His discussions in Beirut will not be far from the invitation that Lebanon sent to Washington, in order to work on resuming indirect negotiations with Israel to demarcate the maritime borders. He will ask about the outcome of the official position in Lebanon after the divergence of views between Lebanon and Israel, which halted negotiations about five months ago.

The American inquiry about Lebanon’s position on the demarcation gains importance due to the paradox adopted by the authority, which reflects a clear confusion. On the one hand, it instructs the negotiating delegation to preserve every inch of Lebanon’s rights and to adhere to the 2,290-kilometer area according to point 29. On the other hand, the President of the Republic does not sign Decree 6433, which preserves this right.

Diplomatic sources confirm that Lebanon is in a race with the facts that Israel is trying to impose on the ground, taking advantage of Lebanon’s failure to assert its right according to the decree, and where it must officially inform the United Nations with a letter and clear maps.

International legal sources explained to Sawt Beirut International (SBI) that the letter sent by Lebanon to the United Nations to ensure that the Israeli oil and gas exploration contracts with the “Halliburton” company in “Karysh” field does not include the disputed area of the maritime borders between both countries. This letter, did not specify Lebanon’s new view of its borders, in order for the international organization to respond from point 29 in the sea. The UN was previously informed about Lebanon’s position which is its adherence to Point 23, that gives Lebanon only 865 kilometers. At what point should the United Nations begin to monitor excavations?

Consequently, Lebanon must take all the measures that make it able to defend its rights, and the decree has been for months in Baabda Palace. Therefore, the decree signature constitutes a document that will disrupt Israeli drilling, and prevent it from attracting exploration companies because it will be considered a disputed area. Investing companies do not work in disputed areas, for fear that any party will threaten the security and peace there, and therefore it will lose its investments. It also fears that any party resorts to international litigation in the courts concerned with maritime borders.

Political sources asked about Hezbollah’s role in the fate of this decree, and whether the timing of its release related to its strategic calculations, and its use as a pressure card in any future negotiations? It is worth noting that signing the decree has positive repercussions as it would accelerate negotiations, so Lebanon can benefit from its oil resources at sea, especially that these resources would help the country recover and prosper.

  • Sawt Beirut International