Energy Minister Steinitz stressed that there will be direct contacts with Beirut • "Our goal is to end the dispute over the demarcation of economic water between Israel and Lebanon" • Lebanese Parliamentary Spokesman Hezbollah also confirmed the reports on the negotiations
Energy Minister Dr. Yuval Steinitz today (Thursday) confirmed the existence of agreements to open negotiations that were reached following indirect negotiations through American mediation that has been going on for about two years.
For the first time in 30 years, civil-political negotiations will take place between Israel and Lebanon: After two years of indirect American-mediated contacts, the State of Israel and the State of Lebanon have agreed on the terms for opening direct negotiations regarding the establishment of a maritime border.
The talks, led by Israel Energy Minister Dr. Yuval Steinitz, will be mediated by the United States and hosted by the United Nations.
Photo: IDF Spokesman
Photo: IDF Spokesman
At a meeting held about two weeks ago, chaired by the Minister of Energy and senior officials of his ministry, and attended by officials from the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministries of Justice and Defense, Israel's terms for negotiations were agreed.
The breakthrough between the two countries was recorded shortly afterwards, during his last visit to the area by Assistant US Secretary of State David Shenkar.
The direct talks between Lebanon and Israel are expected to take place after Sukkot at UNIFIL base in the Lebanese town of Nekura. Energy Minister Dr. Yuval Steinitz said: Of direct negotiations already during the coming period.
Our goal is to bring an end to the dispute over the demarcation of economic water between Israel and Lebanon in order to assist in the development of natural resources for the benefit of all the peoples of the region.
I thank Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and his staff and Meir Ben-Shabbat and the staff of the National Security Council for closely monitoring the process.
Lebanese parliament speaker Nabiya Berry is also expected to announce a framework for indirect talks with Israel on the issue of the border between the two countries, the Al-Akhbar newspaper close to the terrorist organization Hezbollah reported.
According to an earlier report, Berry will announce the agreement two weeks before US Secretary of State David Shenkar visits Lebanon.
Meanwhile, UNIFIL commander Stefano de Cole has spent the last two days in the south of the country with Jan Kovic, the UN envoy's special envoy. According to information quoted by the Lebanese newspaper, the two also met with the speaker of parliament for final amendments to the framework agreement .
It was further argued that indirect negotiations are expected to begin after Shenkar's visit next month.
Al-Akhbar has previously reported that these talks will be mediated by the United Nations and the United States and that Lebanon demands that the maritime border discussions be included in the land border disputes, so that the issue of the Shebaa Farms may re-emerge. .
In addition, it was reported that the military represented Lebanon in the mediation talks and would submit its opinion to the presidency.
Against the background of the talks, there is of course the threat from the United States to continue economic sanctions on the country trapped in an unprecedented crisis.
A significant threat to the talks is the continuing tension between Israel and Hezbollah along the northern border.
At the same time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented in a speech at the UN General Assembly this week a map according to which the organization holds a facility for the production of precision missile parts near gas companies in Beirut.
Only on Saturday did the designated Lebanese Prime Minister Mustafa Adiv withdraw his candidacy.
This, after he said he had lost the broad consensus in parliament that he had initially won and was having difficulty appointing ministers on his behalf.
Adiv retired after the resignation of two prime ministers in the land of cedars in a period of one year.
Hassan Adiv resigned last August following the catastrophic explosion at the port of Beirut, while Saad al-Hariri resigned last year due to mass protests in the streets.