Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Lebanon and Israel, Still Technically At War, In Second Round of Maritime Border Talks

 It is in the interests of the entire world (except maybe Iran and Turkey) to see Lebanon pull out of its social and economic dive.*

From AFP via Yahoo:

Lebanon and Israel, still technically at war and with no diplomatic ties, launched a second round of maritime border talks Wednesday under UN and US auspices to allow for offshore energy exploration.

The talks, expected to last for two days, were held at the headquarters of UN peacekeeping force UNIFIL in the Lebanese border town of Naqura, guarded by army roadblocks and with UN helicopters circling above.

After years of quiet US shuttle diplomacy, Lebanon and Israel this month said they had agreed to begin the negotiations in what Washington hailed as a "historic" agreement.

The announcement came weeks after Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates became the first Arab nations to establish relations with Israel since Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

Lebanon -- which last saw military clashes with Israel in 2006 -- insists that the negotiations are purely technical and don't involve any soft political normalisation with Israel. 

"Today's session is the first technical session," said Laury Haytayan, a Lebanese energy expert. "Detailed discussions on demarcation should begin."

Lebanon, mired in its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war, is looking to settle the maritime border dispute so it can press on with its offshore quest for oil and gas....


* October 18
"Lebanon spymaster holds ‘positive’ US talks on hostages and sharing intelligence"
It looks as though France might not be alone in its efforts to rescue Lebanon before it becomes another Somalia.
And with memories of the ammonium nitrate explosion still fresh, feelings toward Hezbollah—the assumed de facto owner of the stuff that goes boom—are as negative as they have been in years....