The US and the UN said in a joint statement that the two consecutive border negotiation meetings held between Lebanon and Israel on Wednesday and Thursday were “productive.”
“Building on progress from their October 14 meeting, on October 28 and 29 representatives from the governments of Israel and Lebanon held productive talks, mediated by the United States and hosted by the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL),” the statement said.
“The United States and UNSCOL remain hopeful that these negotiations will lead to a long-awaited resolution,” it added, affirming that Lebanon and Israel are “committed to continue negotiations next month.”
On the other hand, some local TV networks, including Al-Jadeed and MTV, described the Thursday session as negative, reporting that no progress was made amid rising escalations by both sides of the negotiating teams.
The main argument reportedly revolves around the starting point of the demarcation. It is assumed that Lebanon’s demand for a larger territory is also disputed.
The Lebanese delegation, led by the army, has been pushing for more territory to be included in Lebanon’s waters, which has expanded the disputed region from its initial area of 860 square kilometers.
The US-brokered border demarcation talks, the third round of which took place on Thursday morning, are the first non-security ones to be held between Lebanon and Israel, which are still technically at war.
According to LBCI, the latest meeting included a lunch hosted by the UN in Naqoura. The TV station noted that there were no direct talks between the Israeli and Lebanese delegations during the lunch.
Notably, the Lebanese team refused to attend lunch on the first day of the talks earlier in October and to appear in a photo that included the representatives of Israel, the UN, and the US in the meeting.