Border demarcation talks with Israel over Lebanon’s southern borders are in “their final stages,” Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Monday.
In the Baabda Palace in the capital Beirut, Aoun met with UN Special Coordinator in Lebanon, Joanna Wronecka.
The Lebanese Presidency said in a statement that Aoun indicated the ongoing talks are about technical details related to the demarcation process “to guarantee Lebanon’s rights to explore for gas and oil in the specified fields in the exclusive economic zone.”
In order to address the technical details of the demarcation process, communication with US mediator Amos Hochstein is ongoing, Aoun expressed.
Aoun also hoped that the exploration for oil and fuel “would contribute to the revival of the Lebanese economy”, which has been witnessing severe deterioration.
Tel Aviv has “especially cautious optimism” that a deal can be reached with Lebanon on their disputed maritime border, an Israeli public broadcaster said last week, citing an Israeli official.
According to maps sent by both countries to the UN in 2011, Lebanon and Israel are locked in a dispute over a maritime area of 860 square kilometers (332 square miles).
Five sessions of indirect negotiations have been held on the issue under UN sponsorship and US mediation starting in 2020, with the latest round held in May 2021.