No government anytime soon in Lebanon

Najib-mikati
File photo of Caretaker PM Najib Mikati
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File photo of Caretaker PM Najib Mikati

Lebanese media quoted Informed sources as saying that it does not appear that there is going to be a government in the near term

Even though Caretaker PM Najib Mikati will most likely be nominated for this task, he won’t be able to get the majority to support him .

So far so his only supporters are the so called Shiite duo which includes the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group and its ally the Amal Movement in addition to the Progressive Socialist Party and some independent Sunni MPs and that won’t be enough.

Sovereign PM

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea has called for naming a new PM who is “non-corrupt” and who has a “sovereign identity, ” meaning he will be independent and won’t be allied with Hezbollah .

In an interview with al-Markazia news agency, Geagea also said that the new premier “should pledge not to reserve any portfolio for any party or sect, most importantly the energy portfolio.”

This ministry has been reserved for FPM whose founder is president Michel Aoun and whose current leader is his son-in-law Gebran Bassil.

The government owned EDL has been the biggest hole in the Lebanese financial collapse . Since 2005 its has been reserved for the Hezbollah backed March 8 alliance . Since 2005 years it has been subsidized by about $40 billion . When Bassil first took over the ministry in 2009 from Muhammad Fneish who represented Hezbollah in the cabinet from 2005 , he promised 24 hours 7 day a week of electricity . EDL has been producing about 2 hours of electricity a day for nearly a year .

Since 2009 FPM refused to allow any other party to take over this ministry

Asked about the latest two parliamentary sessions and “the reasons why Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement won the speaker and deputy speaker posts,” Geagea blamed “some of the newly elected independent MPS who are calling for an overhaul of the complete system of government and refusing to cooperate with any traditional party based on the their rule ‘all of them means all of them’

Maritime border with Israel

As for the maritime border demarcation, Geagea described what is happening as “chaotic,” since Lebanon had already issued a decree and sent the official document to UN in which Line 23 marked Lebanon’s maritime border with Israel

“All Lebanese have turned into experts in geography and cartography,” Geagea said sarcastically.

He added that the file must be addressed through official channels.

“The state will accordingly take a position that preserves Lebanon’s rights, based on in-depth studies and documents to be lodged with the United Nations,” Geagea concluded.

Dispute

The dispute over a potentially gas-rich area that Lebanon and Israel both claim intensified after a ship operated by a Greek gas exploration company Energean arrived Sunday to begin drilling in an area Israel claims is within its UN-recognized exclusive economic zone.

The arrival of the ship was known long in advance, and Israel had notified the Lebanese government through third parties about its intention to start drilling, according to media reports

PM Mikati claimed the presence of the ship was “an invasion of Lebanon’s natural resources” and warned it could lead to an escalation. Lebanese officials have touted potential oil and gas exploration as a way out of the country’s deepening economic crisis. 

Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassem told Reuters the organization is ready to take action “including force” against Israeli gas operations in disputed waters once the Lebanese government adopts a clearer policy on the issue.

President Aoun invited State Department energy envoy Amos Hochstein to come to Beirut urgently to resume talks over the maritime border, which have been frozen for several months.

Aoun met with Mikati today to discuss the issue with aim of agreeing on a strategy for the meeting with Hochstein. Berri was invited for the meeting but opted out the last minute

Hochstein is expected to arrive Monday

War of Maps

A war of maps is going on right now between Lebanon and Israel , The following map illustrates the area of dispute between Lebanon and Israel

The following map identifies the border lines as defined by Israel and Lebanon

This Map shows the disputed area in the maritime border between Lebanon and Israel . The area in green between line 1 and 29 as disputed . While Israel considers line 1 as the border line Lebanon now considers line 29 as the border line . The Karish field shown in red west of block 72 lies therefore inside the disputed area , according to the Lebanese side . Energean Power vessel, was built specifically for creating an extraction rig in the Karish gas field. Its entry into disputed waters has been labeled a dangerous violation of ongoing negotiations over the maritime border dispute.

YA LIBNAN/ NEWS AGENCIES

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