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French deputies denounce the policy of war against the Syrian Kurds

French deputies denounce the policy of war against the Syrian Kurds


BEIRUT (Reuters) – U.S. envoy Amos Hochstein arrived in Beirut on Sunday to advance talks to resolve a bitter maritime border dispute between Lebanon and Israel over Mediterranean waters with offshore gas fields.

US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea and embassy officials met him at Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut upon his arrival.

Hochstein headed to the General Security Directorate, where he met with Major General Abbas Ibrahim. He then met the acting Minister of Energy Walid Fayyad and the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Elias Bou Saab. On Monday, he will meet President Michel Aoun and Lebanese officials.

The US State Department said: Special Presidential Coordinator for Global Infrastructure and Investment Partnership Amos Hochstein will travel to Beirut on July 31 to discuss lasting solutions to Lebanon’s energy crisis, including the Biden administration’s commitment to facilitate negotiations between Lebanon and Israel on the maritime border. . Reaching a resolution is both necessary and possible, but can only be achieved through negotiation and diplomacy.

Political observers in Lebanon agreed that time was running out for both countries and there was no room for manoeuvre. Reaching a solution for disputed sea borders before September is the only way to avoid security implications, they said.

Based on Hochstein’s proposal to Lebanon, the demarcation would start from line 23 drawn in a zigzag pattern to give Lebanon the field of Qana and Israel the field of Karish.

Line 29 is seen as a negotiating point that would increase 2,290 square kilometers of regional waters in the Lebanon region, including some of the Karish gas oil that Israel plans to extract gas from in September.

On the evening of Hochstein’s visit, Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri hoped that going to Naqoura, under the UN flag, was better than going elsewhere.

Naqoura is home to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

Berri expected that a military negotiating delegation would be formed in accordance with the agreement and that there would be no unclear offers and suggestions, as economic and security conditions did not allow for any postponement.

He stressed that there would be no compromise or naturalization under any circumstances and under any pressure.

Israeli media reported that French Total would be offered to extract gas and oil for the benefit of Lebanon and Israel, to avoid any coordination problems and to ensure a fair share of the gains in disputed areas.

An Israeli official said the US envoy would present a new suggestion regarding the demarcation of maritime borders with Lebanon.

On Sunday, according to a Reuters report, the Israeli official said: Our new proposal would allow the Lebanese to develop the gas reserves in the disputed area while preserving Israel’s commercial rights.

Lebanon on Sunday renounced drone footage released by Hezbollah of Israeli ships in disputed waters before the Hochsteins arrived.

Acting Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib said: “It is the Lebanese government that decides on the demarcation of maritime borders, and drone images of gas field coordinates do not represent Lebanon.” We don’t have a problem with resistance. Lebanese officials will take a position: resume negotiations in Naqoura.

Hezbollah sent a message to Israel after the launch of three drones on July 2. A short video said: At your fingertips. Playing with time is useless. It showed the Karish gas field and its coordinates.

Hezbollah-affiliated militants had laid the groundwork for the video on social media platforms before it was released.

The video showed new footage of Israeli ships in Karish and referenced Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s speech earlier in July: There will be no oil extraction if Lebanon does not take its right; War is not inevitable, but war depends on the action of the Israeli enemy.

Israeli media described the Hezbollah video as a clear warning message to Israel in the context of psychological warfare, after Israeli rumors circulated expressing optimism about a deal with Lebanon.

Israeli Energy Minister Karin Elharrar said: Israel has submitted a new proposal, and this is the first proposal since we started the round of talks, ready for innovative solutions. The Lebanese government has the opportunity to end the conflict over the maritime borders and develop a gas field that serves Lebanese economic interests.




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