| 19 April 2024, Friday |

Hochstein fills in large gaps before Naqoura negotiations

All Attentions are now drawn to what Amos Hochstein, the American mediator between Lebanon and Israel, will bear in the file of demarcating the maritime border, about Israel’s stance regarding the Lebanese constants with regard to borders and investment. And he is returning now, after Lebanon has waited for him for three weeks, as he was scheduled to return in mid-August

Well-informed diplomatic sources told “Sawt Beirut International” that US President Joe Biden’s recent position, and the contacts he made with Israel, pushed the file to serious progress, as Biden embraced the negotiation process directly, so that there would be no delay in it, and separated it from the US-Iranian negotiation on the nuclear file.

The sources revealed that Hochstein made a comparison between the Lebanese and Israeli positions, where he identified points of contention and points of agreement, amid expectation of new breakthroughs in the field of progress, which would bridge large gaps between the two positions. If things go as expected, the indirect negotiations between Lebanon and Israel will be completed in Naqoura to discuss technical details so that they do not go beyond that, and it cannot be called political negotiation.

The sources reported that the American intervention, which stimulated the negotiations, takes the Israeli threats seriously, especially what Israel said about the absence of demarcation that will lead to war. The US administration does not want to “disrupt” the existing stability in the south and the equations associated with it. Therefore, it stresses the climate of calm and stability, in conjunction with the roles of its European partners to extract guarantees from all parties, including Hezbollah, not to resort to military actions.

Moreover Washington is interested in speeding up finding a solution, and is in contact with Total, and at the same time, American companies seem interested in demarcating borders to be able to invest in exploration and extraction.

Lebanon now wants to make sure from Hochstein, that Israel has finally agreed that the “Kana” field will be for Lebanon ,in exchange for the “Karish” field, and make sure that it agrees to extend the Lebanese maritime borders up to Line 23, without giving up any inch of the marine blocks, including Block 8, meaning that it adheres to all the blocks that are within Lebanon’s rights.

Lebanon is also expected to withdraw from deliberation the issue of joint fields, companies operating in the fields of the two countries, or the joint revenue fund. Then ensure the equation of “work in all Lebanese fields in exchange for work in all Israeli fields.” In addition to the French guarantees, Total will go directly to work within the Lebanese borders, in return for guarantees not to resort to war, or to be subject to any US sanctions

  • Sawt Beirut International