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Lebanon and Israel to discuss the delineation of their common borders



           


The route of the maritime border between the two countries will be the most difficult - in red the disputed zone between Israel and Lebanon - because of the presence of hydrocarbons (map: DR)
The route of the maritime border between the two countries will be the most difficult - in red the disputed zone between Israel and Lebanon - because of the presence of hydrocarbons (map: DR)
LEBANON / ISRAEL. While the two countries are still theoretically at war - no armistice has been initialled since the various conflicts dating back to 1978 - Lebanon and Israel signed a framework agreement on Thursday 1 October 2020 to define their maritime and land borders.

The discussions will be conducted under the aegis of the UN, and more specifically through the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon. The United States, which has been preparing this agreement for three years and has been awaiting it for ten years, will act as mediator and facilitator for the delimitation of the maritime borders.

Negotiations will begin on 10 October 2020 at the headquarters of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in Naqoura, in southern Lebanon. According to Nabih Berry, President of the Lebanese Parliament in charge of carrying out the talks with the United States representing Israel prior to the signing of this framework agreement, the issue of maritime borders "will have to go hand in hand with that of land borders".

Drawn in June 2000 by the UN after the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, a so-called blue line provisionally fixes the borders between the two countries. It only has a different one of 40 km² and 2 metres wide, that of the Shebaa farms (Har Dov). Positioned between the Lebanese, Syrian and Israeli borders, they have been occupied since 1967 by Israel.
The heart of the dispute is located at sea, in a triangle of about 850 km² and containing promising hydrocarbon deposits.

Lebanon and Israel have been observing a truce since 12 July 2006 under UN Resolution 1701, after a conflict ("Thirty-three day war" or "July war") between the two countries was triggered by Israel in response to a Hezbollah attack on an Israeli army patrol on the border. An informal cease-fire was also signed in April 1996 during the first Lebanon war. It prohibited any further attacks on either side of the border.


 


Frédéric Dubessy


Friday, October 2nd 2020



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