Lebanon FM rejects maritime agreement between Israel and Cyprus


Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour said in a letter to the U.N. Monday that the agreement that was signed last year between Israel and Cyprus to demarcate the controversial Israeli maritime borders is a violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty and economic rights.

“This agreement is a violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty and economic rights and threatens peace and security in the area,” Mansour said, following reports that Israel was conducting offshore drilling for oil and gas in the Mediterranean, some of which might fall in Lebanese territorial waters.

Mansour urged U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to take the necessary measures to prevent any conflict that might occur as a result of Israel’s offshore activities.

Cyprus and Israel signed an agreement last December that defines their maritime borders and allows the two nations to forge ahead in the search for energy sources in the eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey too strongly objected to the agreement last December saying it also has rights and interests in the area.

In August of that year, Lebanese MPs passed a law authorizing exploration and drilling of offshore oil and gas fields.