“A deal on the sea borders between Lebanon and Israel might give a much-needed chance to build wealth for Lebanon’s future,” the US embassy in Lebanon recently posted on social media.
The US envoy for energy, Amos Hochstein, met with Lebanese Army chief Gen. Joseph Aoun on Wednesday, which the US embassy termed as “fruitful.” To re-start Lebanese Israeli maritime border demarcation negotiations, Hochstein arrived in Beirut on Tuesday.
Hochstein met with President Michel Aoun, Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri, and Prime Minister Najib Mikati, whose media office said Mikati would “discuss Hochstein’s new proposals with Aoun and Berri to determine the Lebanese position” during his 48-hour visit to Lebanon after his stop in Israel.
They reportedly addressed President Aoun’s letter to the UN Security Council President dated January 28, which said that Lebanon “reserves the rights to raise any later demands and review the borders of its exclusive economic zone… if indirect negotiations fail to establish a settlement.”
Beirut’s economic and financial crisis necessitates urgent initiatives that lead to economic and financial breakthroughs for Lebanon, including speeding up Lebanon’s investment in its oil and gas resources, according to Hochstein.
It added General Aoun had told Hochstein that “the military institution supports any decision taken by the political authority in this regard.” Hochstein met with Foreign Minister Abdullah Bou Habib in Beirut, accompanied by US Ambassador Dorothy Shea.