Lebanon, which didn’t settle yet on an agreement with Israel on its maritime borders, has received a Turkish proposal for drilling in the southern oil and gas blocks near Israel’s border, a Lebanese official source said.
“The Turkish proposal involves drilling and investment works in Block 9, which lies on the maritime border,” the source told Russia’s Sputnik news agency.
Subsequently, Lebanese Energy Minister Walid Fayad denied that Lebanon had received “any official and unofficial proposal from Turkey” regarding exploration in the offshore blocks on the border with Israel.
In an interview with Al Mayadeen, Fayad explained that when he was in Turkey, no one approached him about the matter, noting that “Block No. 9 is awarded to the consortium of Total.”
Sputnik’s source also pointed out that “European companies working in the field of exploration in Lebanon (particularly the French Total) were confused by the Turkish offer, which means that they could take the initiative to accelerate exploration operations in Blocks 4 and 9.”
The extended call that took place between the Lebanese Parliament Deputy Speaker Elias Bou Saab and the American mediator Amos Hochstein touched upon what is being reported about the demarcation file in some Israeli media, especially exaggerated reports, both positive and negative.
Earlier, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah had dismissed Israel’s latest warnings over any escalation related to the dispute over offshore gas, saying that his party, like Lebanon, is also waiting for Israel’s response to the latest Lebanese proposal.