Israel, Lebanon in ‘historic’ deal to end maritime dispute in gas-rich waters
Jerusalem, Oct 11 (EFE).- Israel and Lebanon have landed a “historic” agreement on their disputed maritime border, which will pave the way for gas exploration in the Mediterranean region, authorities announced Tuesday.
Israel’s prime minister Yair Lapid described the deal as a “historic achievement” that would bolster Israel’s security and pull “billions” into the economy.
In a tweet, he said he would convene his security cabinet on Wednesday to green light the draft deal.
The United States-mediated deal is poised to end a dispute over an 860 square kilometer (330 square mile) patch of Mediterranean Sea extending out from northern Israel and southern Lebanon.
Israel signaled its satisfaction with the US-redacted proposal last week but the terms were rejected in Beirut, a move that almost derailed talks.
Lebanon’s president Michel Aoun offered his support to the final draft deal presented on Tuesday.
In a statement, he said the proposal “satisfies Lebanon, meets its demands and preserves its natural wealth.”
Its strategic and economic importance lies in the fact it expands over the potentially rich Karish and Qana gas fields.
US mediator and energy envoy Amos Hochstein has spearheaded negotiations for the last 15 months in a bid to end the maritime dispute between Israel and Lebanon, who are regional foes with a history of conflict EFE