Israel, Lebanon Receive US-Brokered Maritime Border Proposal
Israel and Lebanon received a US-brokered proposal for an agreement on a maritime border between the two countries. Lebanese President Michel Aoun met with US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea on Saturday and received the written proposal from US mediator Amos Hochstein, according to the Lebanese Presidency. At Sunday’s regular cabinet meeting, Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid said, “We are discussing the final details, so it is not yet possible to praise a done deal; however, as we have demanded from the start, the proposal safeguards Israel’s full security-diplomatic interests, as well as our economic interests.” He said the proposal currently is undergoing legal review. “We do not oppose the development of an additional Lebanese gas field, from which we will of course receive the share we deserve. Such a field will weaken Lebanon’s dependence on Iran, restrain Hizbullah and promote regional stability,” Lapid also said. Israel and Lebanon began US-mediated negotiations concerning their maritime border in 2020 but the talks broke down when Lebanon expanded its demands, increasing the disputed area from 860 to 2,300 square kilometers, including part of the Karish North field that is claimed by Israel. The talks were revived earlier this year.