Speaker of Lebanese Parliament Nabih Berri on Friday told the state National News Agency (NNA) that a US proposal concerning the disputed Lebanon-Israel maritime border was “unacceptable.”
During a meeting with the acting Assistant US Secretary of State David Satterfield, Berri stressed that the borders could only be demarcated based on the April 1996 Understanding between Israel and Hezbollah, which was brokered by the US to end the conflict initiated by Israel’s Grapes of Wrath operation.
Last week Lebanon signed its first contract to drill for oil and gas in a pair of offshore zones, including one that its southern neighbour Israel says belongs to it. https://t.co/7lhp3vL0vf
— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) February 18, 2018
After the conflict, a Monitoring Committee was set up to implement the Understandings; it was composed of US, France, Syria, Israel and Lebanon
Beside meeting with Berri, Satterfield met on Friday with Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri.
In a statement issued by Berri’s office, he insisted that borders’ demarcation could only be decided by the Monitoring Committee.
#Israel is challenging #Lebanon's right to explore for gas in it's own territorial waters. #Nasrallah today said that the Americans are not honest brokers and that Tillerson did not come to Lebanon to mediate but rather to dictate terms and make threats. pic.twitter.com/kpflY6A3od
— Walid (@walid970721) February 16, 2018
The statement added that this stance was expressed during a discussion about regional issues and the maritime borders with Israel.
According to Anadolu Agency, Satterfield offered a previous US proposal, which is based on Lebanon conceding 360 square kms out of its 860 square kms of water to Israel. This area is known as the disputed Number 9 oil field.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)