Israel, Lebanon to strike ‘historic’ maritime border deal

The agreement is set to go into effect after two exchanges of letters

Published - October 28, 2022 06:18 am IST - Naqura, Lebanon:

An Israeli delegation lead by Energy Ministry Director General Lior Schillat, third from left, pose for a photo after their arrival at the Israeli border with Lebanon in Rosh Hanikra, Israel, on October 27, 2022. Lebanon and Israel signed copies of a U.S.-mediated sea border deal on Thursday and delivered them to the U.N. in the coastal border town of Naqoura.

An Israeli delegation lead by Energy Ministry Director General Lior Schillat, third from left, pose for a photo after their arrival at the Israeli border with Lebanon in Rosh Hanikra, Israel, on October 27, 2022. Lebanon and Israel signed copies of a U.S.-mediated sea border deal on Thursday and delivered them to the U.N. in the coastal border town of Naqoura. | Photo Credit: AP

Israel and Lebanon on Thursday separately signed a U.S.-brokered maritime border deal which paves the way for lucrative offshore gas extraction by the neighbours that remain technically at war.

The agreement is set to go into effect after two exchanges of letters — one between Lebanon and the U.S., the other between Israel and the U.S., expected from 3:00pm local time.

Hailed in advance by U.S. President Joe Biden as a “historic breakthrough”, it comes as Western powers clamour to open up new gas production and reduce vulnerability to supply cuts from Russia. The deal, signed separately by Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun in Beirut and Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid in Jerusalem, comes as Lebanon hopes to extract itself from what the World Bank calls one of the worst economic crises in modern world history.

It also comes as Mr. Lapid seeks to lock in a major achievement days ahead of a general election on November 1.

The exchange of letters is due to take place in the southern Lebanese town of Naqura, in the presence of U.S. mediator Amos Hochstein and the UN special coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka.

Before signing it, Mr. Lapid had claimed on Thursday morning that Lebanon’s intention to ink the deal amounted to a de-facto recognition of the Jewish state. “It is not every day that an enemy state recognises the State of Israel,” he said.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.