| 29 February 2024, Thursday |

Is there any relation between maritime demarcation and Presidency file?

Diplomatic sources talks about the possibility of a progress made in indirect negotiations between Lebanon and Israel through American mediation, if the final agreement is reached during next September, might reflect positively on the Lebanese presidential elections,and create a positive atmosphere that will lead Lebanon to regain real international interest, within which an international road map is drawn up to save it politically and economically, in parallel with the American engineering of the road map related to energy in the Mediterranean. This rescue begins with an understanding about a new president who is moderate and reasonable and enjoys an economic vision.
Still, other diplomatic sources confirmed to “Sawt Beirut International”, that the presidential file is still unclear and that it is far from finding salvation through a magic wand. Rather, it is a complex issue that is affected by many internal and external factors, and has nothing to do with the atmosphere of the demarcation or those that will be affected by the negotiation.

According to the sources, the demarcation is related to Lebanon and Israel, and there is a large financial return from the extraction of oil and gas that will be available after a while for a collapsing country. On the other hand, there is an interest for both Washington and Tel Aviv, to explore for energy sources and benefit from it. But they need guarantees on the issue that Hezbollah will not attack oil and gas extraction sites. Therefore, the issue of the presidential elections is something else. If an agreement is reached on the nuclear issue between Washington and Tehran, where positive signs have emerged during the past hours to resume negotiations, this means that the Iranian group in Lebanon will seek to calm down, as will its groups in the region. In this context, understandings may emerge, including choosing a President of the Republic whom all parties are satisfied with. Here, the international umbrella that protects Lebanon will return to more effectiveness.

So the two topics are separate. It must be ensured that the atmosphere of negotiations over the demarcation is positive, or whether it is exaggerated.

However, according to the sources, what matters to the Americans is the completion of the demarcation issue. At the same time, the Americans are influential in the presidential elections. If the demarcation file is completed by agreement, they will deal in a different way with the presidential elections, that is, with greater flexibility, as they will consider that all Lebanese parties facilitated the demarcation process.

So far, the sources reveal that international negotiations on the Lebanese president have not started in earnest. It is not clear whether the president will be neutral or affiliated with a particular group, and it is certain that the presidency does not mature without an American-Saudi-Iranian consensus. Certainly, there is the beginning of an American-Saudi discussion, but is there any discussion with the third party,Iran? It is also not clear the Russian role in the line of the presidential file. Moscow can influence positively or negatively, and it has become a neighboring country due to its control over Syria and its influence in the presidency. There is no doubt that the presidential file has become more complicated after the Russian war on Ukraine and Russia’s growing role.

  • Sawt Beirut International