Lebanon officials to discuss maritime deal with Israel as Qatar welcomes breakthrough

Lebanon officials to discuss maritime deal with Israel as Qatar welcomes breakthrough
US-mediated talks between Lebanon and Israel are hoping to finalise the maritime border between both countries which would grant them added security and access to greater resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.
2 min read
03 October, 2022
Offshore gas reserves in the Mediterranean Sea could be a new source of energy for Lebanon [Getty]

Senior Lebanon officials will discuss the US-proposed deal demarcating a maritime border between Israel and Lebanon on Monday, according to Al Araby Al-Jadeed

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun will meet with caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati and parliament speaker Nabih Berri to decide on a unified position on the controversial deal, according to the report in The New Arab's English-language service.

This comes days after Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid expressed his tentative support for the deal. 

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Earlier on Monday, Qatar welcomed US-mediated talks between Israel and Lebanon to finalise their maritime border amid an ongoing dispute between the two neighbours, according to Doha News. 

"The State of Qatar welcomes the progress made in the mediation led by the United States to establish the maritime borders of Lebanon, which would enable Lebanon to explore and export LNG from its territorial waters and enhance regional peace and security," Qatar’s foreign ministry said in a statement. 

‎"The state of Qatar renews its support to all efforts and endeavours that safeguard the stability of Lebanon and assure prosperity for its people." 

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Lebanon and Israel, which have no diplomatic relations, have a longstanding dispute over their maritime border. In June this year, the issue resurfaced after an Israeli-contracted company sent a ship to develop a gas field in the disputed territory. 

The US has since sought to broker a deal between Israel and Lebanon which would finally see a recognised maritime border in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea between the two states. 

Officials on both sides have warmed to a tentative deal over the past few days, indicating that a final agreement could be imminent. 

This could see Lebanon have access to greater resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, and represents a glimmer of hope for a country grappling with financial, economic, and energy crises blamed on Beirut's political and business elite.