Lebanon Wants To Demarcate Its Maritime Border With Syria

Lebanon Wants To Demarcate Its Maritime Border With Syria
Al-Akhbar/Haytham Al-Mousawi

Lebanon has talked over its maritime border issue with Syria, Lebanese caretaker Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe has revealed.

In a statement to MTV, Wehbe said on Tuesday that Lebanese President Michel Aoun had called his Syrian counterpart, Bashar Al-Assad, and discussed the maritime border situation with him.

Recent reports have indicated that Syria is preparing to start oil exploration in a block that is part of Lebanon’s territorial waters.

Wehbe quoted Aoun as affirming that Lebanon “will not accept the diminishment of its sovereignty in water,” adding that his country “adheres to demarcating the borders and calls on the Syrian side to negotiate.”

As a last resort, Lebanon could go to international courts, “but today we do not intend to attack Syria,” Wehbe said.

It’s worth noting, as the official did, that the Syrian government had sent a memo to Lebanon back in May 2019, asking to hold a meeting to discuss border demarcation between Lebanon and Syria.

Wehbe said that the Lebanese side welcomed the meeting at the time but that it did not end up taking place.

On Sunday, caretaker Minister Wehbe stated that the current time was “appropriate” for Lebanon to negotiate maritime border demarcation with Syria.

In late 2020, Lebanon, which hopes to use its offshore resources to boost its crumbling economy, began indirect talks with Israel to settle the maritime border dispute in the south.

The negotiations with Israel came to a halt later that year and have not resumed since.

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Lebanon Wants To Demarcate Its Maritime Border With Syria

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