PM Mikati informs US envoy Hochstein of Lebanon’s unified position on maritime border demarcation

Hochstein-mikati
Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati is shown during his meeting at the Grand Serail. with the US mediator Amos Hochstein
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Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati met at the Grand Serail. with the American mediator Amos Hochstein over the indirect negotiations to demarcate the southern maritime border with Israel

The meeting was attended by Deputy Speaker of Parliament Elias Bou Saab, Director General of Public Security Major General Abbas Ibrahim, Director General of the Presidency of the Republic Dr. Antoine Choucair, US Ambassador Dorothy Shea, and Adviser to the Prime Minister Ziad Mikati.

During the meeting, the US envoy was informed of the unified Lebanese position on the issue of border demarcation and the desire for the continuation of US mediation.

Mikati also emphasized that Lebanon’s supreme interest requires starting the process of drilling for oil without giving up Lebanon’s right to all its wealth.

On Tuesday Hochstein also met with President Michel Aoun, caretaker Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib and Army Commander General Joseph Aoun. He is also scheduled to meet with Speaker Nabih Berri

Hochstein received Lebanon’s response to his proposal , Al-Jazeera TV reported.

“The response did not include any demand for Line 29, which includes the Karish field,” Al-Jazeera added .

Instead, Lebanon demanded getting “Line 23 and the Qana field in the disputed area,” the TV network added.

This Map shows the disputed area in the maritime border between Lebanon and Israel . The area in green between line 1 and 23 is disputed . While Israel considers line 1 as the border line Lebanon 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.

“The Lebanese response demanded the resumption of indirect technical negotiations with Israel . In addition Lebanon asked that gas and oil extraction from the Karish field stop until the end of the negotiations,” Al-Jazeera added.

Hochstein reportedly also held positive talks with Bou Saab and General Security chief Major General Abbas Ibrahim on Monday.

He is also scheduled to meet with the so-called “change MPs. ” who are insisting on line 29 as the maritime border demarcation line and calling for amending decree 6433 that defines the maritime border as line 23

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