Lebanon ramped up political activity on Tuesday in a bid to come up with a united stance towards the written proposal of US Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein on the maritime dispute with the Zionist entity.
Lebanese officials were mulling the US mediator’s offer, with media reporting on Tuesday that discussions made in Beirut underlined importance of making some amendments on the content and the composition of Hochstein’s proposal.
Lebanese Daily Al-Akhbar reported, quoting well-informed sources, that “Lebanon firmly refuses any Israeli-controlled security zone, as it doesn’t recognize the so-called floats line.”
“Lebanon rejects linking the maritime borders with the land borders,” Al-Akhbar said, noting that Lebanon will resort to the United Nations to demarcate its international borders.
“Deals between Lebanon and foreign firms, including TotalEnergies, are linked by no means with their deals with the Zionist entity. The firms are committed to start drilling and extraction in the Lebanese waters right after the deal.”
The paper added that in case a deal on a final text is reached, Lebanon will never agree on an official ceremony in Naqoura as requested by the Israelis and Washington.
“Lebanon will rather sign a message that will be delivered by the head of Lebanese technical delegation to the UN representative during a meeting in Naqoura, in the presence of Hochstein,” Al-Akhbar said.
Lebanon stressed its delegation will never hand the message in the presence of the Israeli delegation who will be in a separate room, the daily added, citing Lebanese firm refusal to any act that would be understood as an act of normalization with the Zionist entity.
Earlier on Monday, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported that Lebanon has requested “amendments of specific sentences” in its response to Hocstein’s proposal.
AFP quoted a Lebanese official involved in the negotiations as saying that the amendments were requested “so that there is no room for misunderstanding.”
President Michel Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri and Caretaker PM Najib Mikati met to discuss Hochstein’s offer on Monday, with Deputy Speaker Elias Bou Saab telling reporters following the tripartite meeting that will send its notes on the proposal soon.
“We are not giving an official response but delivering an answer to the proposal with… remarks that we have,” he added.
Bou Saab, tasked by President Michel Aoun to oversee U.S.-mediated negotiations, did not elaborate on Lebanon’s feedback but said it included notes on “legal and logical” issues.
Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati, who also spoke after the meeting, said that “things are on the right track.”
Source: Al-Manar English Website