Lebanon Responds To Israeli Claim That It Switched Its Stance

Lebanon Responds To Israeli Claim That It Changed Its Stance
Reuters

The Lebanese Presidency has issued a response to the recent Israeli claim that Lebanon has changed its stance on the maritime border demarcation several times.

The presidency statement, released on Friday, called the Israeli remarks “baseless.”

It affirmed that Lebanon’s position is “consistent regarding the issue of the maritime border demarcation of the southern borders in accordance with President Aoun’s directives to the Lebanese negotiating delegation, especially with regard to Lebanon’s exercise of its sovereign right.”

The remarks in question were made on Thursday by Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, who said that Lebanon had changed its stance on the border talks “seven times,” without clarifying what these changes were.

On a side note, on Friday, nearly a month after Lebanon and Israel had their first U.S.-mediated border demarcation session, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated Washington’s support for the negotiations.

Pompeo said after a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he had conveyed to Netanyahu his country’s “support for the decision by the governments of Israel and Lebanon to begin discussions on the maritime boundary.”

“We hope that this long-standing dispute can be resolved,” he added, affirming that the negotiation has the potential to yield “increased stability, security, and prosperity for both Israeli citizens and those in Lebanon as well.”

Earlier this week, Lebanese President Michel Aoun announced Lebanon’s starting point in the negotiation, which increased the area of the disputed region.