Lebanon has requested some amendments on the written proposal prepared by US Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein on the maritime dispute with the Zionist entity.
Deputy Speaker Elias Bou Saab, who is tasked by President Michel Aoun to oversee the US-mediated talks, handed over the Lebanese notes on Hochstein’s proposal to the US Embassy in Beirut on Tuesday.
The US embassy, delivered the notes to Hochstein, who in his turn sent a copy to the Zionist entity in order to discuss them during a high-level security cabinet on Thursday.
Al-Akhbar Lebanese daily revealed on Thursday the text of amendments requested by Lebanon. Al-Manar provides an English version of the Lebanese notes that can be divided into seven points.
First: Lebanon requested crossing off the “Blue Line” term in any place in Hochstein’s proposal that refers to its (southern) borders. There has been assertion that Lebanon sticks to its international borders.
Second: Lebanon stresses that the so-called “Floats Line” is meaningless since it doesn’t exist. Lebanon considers the current situation in this area as de-facto (factual) situation that is not legally recognized.
Third: Lebanon replaced the term “South Sidon Prospect” with “Sidon-Qana Field” with an addition which says that the field “will be developed by Lebanon and for the interest of Lebanon.”
Fourth: Concerning the firms which will start drilling in the Lebanese blocks, Hochstein’s proposal stipulated that they will not be subject to US sanctions. However, Lebanon rejected this sentence and replaced it with: “The firms will not be subject to international sanctions.”
Fifth, Hochstein’s draft says that “Israel doesn’t intend to oppose” any measures taken in Qana Field in the area beyond the Line 23. Lebanon requested amending this sentence to be: “Israel doesn’t oppose and will not oppose.” Lebanon also changed, in another paragraph, the same word – “doesn’t intend to oppose” – regarding the request for authorization to work in the field. In this context, Lebanon stressed that the deal with the French TotalEnergies company will be related by no means to the firm’s deal with the Zionist entity.
Sixth, Lebanon raised an objection to the word “financial compensation” between the operating company and the Zionist entity, and stressed that what will take place rather, constitutes a “financial settlement” that Lebanon has nothing to do with.
“Lebanon is not concerned with this settlement and in case the deal between the firm and the enemy entity is delayed, it will not affect the drilling activity in Block 9, which will begin immediately regardless of this settlement.”
Seventh, Hochstein’s draft stated that the US will contribute to facilitation of the operating firm’s work after the agreement. Lebanon requested that the sentence be changed to: “The US is committed to facilitate the work of the companies directly after the finalization of the deal.”
Below an infographic image prepared by Al-Manar team on the Lebanese modifications
Source: Al-Akhbar Newspaper (translated and edited by Al-Manar Website)