Lebanon, Israel Begin Fourth Round of Demarcation Talks

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Lebanon, Israel Begin Fourth Round of Demarcation Talks

A new round of Lebanese and Israeli negotiations over the maritime border demarcation began Wednesday morning at the headquarters of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon’s Naqoura.

The talks began at 10:30 a.m. just north of the UN-demarcated Blue Line separating Israel and Lebanon, which are still formally at war.

Sources familiar with Lebanon's position at the negotiations said that Lebanon might draw up two new boundary lines backed by international law, in retaliation to a map circulating in Israeli media that shows a new boundary line encroaching further into Lebanese territory.

Lebanon's mixed civilian-military delegation, headed by Navy Col. Mazen Basbous, has been directed by the Lebanese Army commander to push for an additional 1,430 square kilometers to be included in Lebanese territory. This is on top of the already disputed 860 square kilometer area that both sides say is in their respective Exclusive Economic Zone and brings what is now an Israeli gas field into disputed territory.

Israel and Lebanon completed the second round of indirect negotiations, mediated by the US, in late October, during which Lebanon presented its new maximalist stance.

Source: The Daily Star