There are thorny issues in the maritime border demarcation talks between Lebanon and Israel, Lebanese Parliament Deputy Speaker Elias Bou Saab said on Tuesday.
Following talks with President Michel Aoun in the capital Beirut, Bou Saab told reporters, “There are major complications but are being resolved one after another.”
His talks with Aoun dwelt on recent discussions with US mediator Amos Hochstein, who is expected to visit Lebanon this week, he said.
He stated, “Communication and contacts will intensify in September and we hope we will be able to reach a result,” adding, “We don’t want to let go of optimism, but we don’t want to say that we’re pessimistic.” He further warned, “The month of September will be decisive. If it turns out that the Israelis are intransigent and do not want a solution, Lebanon will have other choices.”
According to maps sent by both counties to the UN in 2011, Lebanon and Israel are engaged in a dispute over a maritime area that is 860 square kilometers (332 square miles).
Five sessions of indirect negotiations were held between Lebanon and Israel on the area rich in natural gas and oil under UN sponsorship and US mediation.
Due to the impasse of negotiations because of major differences, the last round of talks was in May 2021.