Lebanon received on Saturday the written proposal that included US Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein’s response to Beirut’s demands on the maritime dispute with the Zionist entity.
President Michel Aoun received Hochstein’s written proposal from US Ambassador in Lebanon Dorothy Shea in Baabda presidential Palace, Lebanese Presidency announced.
President Aoun then held phone conversations with Speaker Nabih Berri and Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati to follow up on the issue.
The Lebanese president informed Berri and Mikati about the offer in a bid to announce a united stance on the affair.
For her part, Shea visited Speaker Berri and PM Mikati and handed each official a copy of Hochstein’s letter, reporting positive developments in this regard.
Al-Manar correspondent Mona Tahini described the US mediator move as important and awaited in order to know the latest development regarding the mediation efforts in the maritime dispute between Lebanon and the Zionist entity.
“It’s clear that Baabda (Lebanese Presidency) wants to keep details on Hochstein proposal secret, and that Lebanon will take his time to study the proposal” Tahini said during Al-Manar news bulletin at 11:30 (Beirut time) on Saturday.
She cited local reports circulated in the last days that describe mediation efforts led by Hochstein as “moving on the right track in a way that guarantees Lebanon’s rights.”
Tahini clarified three major demands stipulated by Lebanon’s proposal that Hochstein will be responding to in his offer.
“Lebanon has been sticking to Line 23* to be the country’s southern maritime border,” our reporter said, referring to the first demand.
Lebanon’s proposal would allow Lebanon to explore the entire Qana Prospect, while the third demand called on foreign firms, including the France-based company TotalEnergies, to start oil and gas drilling right after the agreement is reached, according to Tahini.
She also attributed Hochstein’s delay in handing over his latest proposal to Lebanon’s request in a bid to study an offer aimed at linking the maritime borders with land borders.
“Lebanon then firmly rejected this offer,” Tahini noted.
For his part, Al-Manar correspondent Hasan Hamzeh said later on Saturday that Hochstein’s 10-sheet document did not include maps, noting that it is still unknown if President Aoun, Speaker Berri and PM Mikati will hold a tripartite meeting to study the proposal.
In recent weeks, Hezbollah officials have repeatedly said that the Lebanese resistance movement will wait for Hochstein to submit his written proposal on the maritime dispute.
“We will wait for the written proposal the biased US mediator will submit to the Lebanese Government. When the Government says that the proposal matches Lebanon’s rights then we consider that Lebanon has restored its rights,” Hezbollah Deputy Chief Sheikh Naim Qassem said last week.
Many anti-Israeli activists in Lebanon describe Hochstein as ‘biased’ mediator, citing that the US energy envoy is an Israeli-born diplomat who served with the Israeli occupation army from 1992 to 1995, and participated in the 1993 Israeli aggression on Lebanon.
*To know more about Lebanon’s maritime negotiation lines, click here.
Source: Al-Manar English Website