| 30 November 2023, Thursday |

Hochstein’s visit to Lebanon aims at stimulating borders’ demarcation file

According to follow-up sources to Sawt Beirut International, the visit of US mediator Amos Hochstein to Beirut in early February would not be the same as before.

This visit will be decisive in the file of resuming the indirect negotiations between Lebanon and Israel regarding border demarcation, and a return to them is likely, given that these negotiations were launched in October 2020 and have been held in 5 rounds since then, the most recent of which was on May 4th of this year.

According to reports, progress on the line of the Vienna negotiations reactivated the demarcation process at a time when the previous eight months provided enough opportunity for Israel to make modifications to its favor in the war.

What is new is what is happening on the Qana field line, where Israel has replaced the Greek company Energean with the American company Halliburton to explore on Lebanon’s border, and has set next March as the start date for the exploration process, implying that Lebanon does not have the luxury of time.

Noting that Energean had notified the Israeli side that it would not drill in a contested region, the American corporation prefers that the borders be delimited before beginning its operation.

And if Halliburton is unearthed, the Lebanese side has become a battle with the US, not Tel Aviv, and any exposure to any American ship equals exposure to the US. This must be considered by Lebanon, because the United States has red lines regarding gas and oil.

In terms of the other variable, it is preparing the way for Lebanon to acquire gas and power through the United States, regardless of Caesar’s law. Hochstein will carry all of this with him, presenting to the Lebanese two main files: the ratification of the demarcation without delay or the loss of gas and power, which would result in hefty sanctions.

From this vantage point, it appears like changing Decree No. 6433 to become under line 29 instead of 23 is a thing of the past.

So, would the borders’ demarcation file reach an agreement anytime soon?

  • Sawt Beirut International