Israel has announced that Lebanon and Israel have agreed on a maritime boundary agreement

  • The American ambassador has made indirect connections to break the deal
  • Lebanon and Israel have a history of conflict
  • The agreement allows for energy exploration, easing tension

Beirut/Jerusalem, Oct. 11 (Reuters) – Lebanon and Israel have reached a historic agreement delimiting a disputed maritime border, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Labit said on Tuesday.

Although limited, an agreement would represent a significant compromise between states with a history of war, opening the way for offshore energy exploration and easing the source of recent tensions between the states.

“This is a historic achievement that will strengthen Israel’s security, inject billions into Israel’s economy and ensure the stability of our northern border,” Lapid said in a statement.

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Lebanese President Michel earlier said Lebanon was satisfied with the terms of the final draft received from US Ambassador Amos Hochstein and he hoped the deal would be announced soon, the president said in a statement seen by Reuters.

Israeli National Security Adviser Eyal Hulada also previously gave a positive assessment:

“All our demands have been met and the changes we asked for have been fixed. We are moving towards a historic agreement that protects Israel’s security interests,” he said in a statement.

Hochstein is moving between parties with no diplomatic relations.

The heavily armed, Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah has not commented on the specifics of the proposals throughout the secret talks, but has said it accepts the Lebanese government’s position.

Hezbollah leader Syed Hassan Nasrallah, who has been involved in several wars with Israel, has repeatedly warned that if the deal does not protect Lebanon’s maritime rights, it will escalate. Nasrallah is scheduled to deliver an address on Tuesday.

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Earlier, Lebanese negotiator Elias Bou Saab told Reuters that Hochstein’s “efforts will immediately lead to a historic agreement” if all goes well.

He said Lebanon’s latest draft “considers all the needs of Lebanon and we hope the other side feels the same”.

While Israel has advanced in manufacturing and exports, Lebanon’s efforts have been hampered by political deadlock.

The gas discovery would be a huge boon for Lebanon, which has been in financial crisis since 2019. Ultimately, such a discovery could remedy Lebanon’s longstanding failure to generate enough electricity for its population.

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Reporting by Taimur Azhari and Laila Bassam in Beirut; Mayan Lubel in Jerusalem; By Timor Azhari/Tom Perry and Mayan Lubell; Editing by Leslie Adler, Chris Rees, Raju Gopalakrishnan, Philippa Fletcher

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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