The U.S. Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, Amos Hochstein, arrived in Lebanon on Tuesday with a new proposal regarding the demarcation of the maritime borders between Lebanon and Israel.
Back in November, Hochstein pressured both governments to reach a compromise, otherwise, “he would end his involvement in the talks.”
According to international news, he would have met with top Israeli officials, warning that they need to finalize a deal with Lebanon “before the March 2022 parliamentary election in Lebanon.”
Lebanon had also officially requested from the U.N. two weeks earlier to pressure for a speedup of the negotiations, which have been on hold as rounds have failed to bring both countries into an agreement.
Lebanon’s letter to the U.N Security Council mentioned the disputed area of the Karish field, which includes the Qana gas, complaining about the recent Israeli measures in block 9 and informing the U.N. that any such Israeli attempts will be deemed a threat to international peace and security.
Hochstein’s visit to Lebanon now comes as negotiations are expected to resume.
Upon his arrival, he met with the Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib in the presence of the U.S ambassador to Lebanon. He was presented with the details of Lebanon’s letter to the U.N. and the developments that had occurred during the stalled negotiations.
He also had a meeting with the Lebanese Army Commander General Joseph Aoun who assured him that the military institution stands “with any decision taken by the political authority in this regard.”
Hochstein is scheduled to meet on Wednesday with President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Najib Mikati, and parliament speaker Nabih Berri.
Lebanon hopes that oil and gas discoveries in the country’s territorial waters will help overcome the unprecedented economic and financial.
Lebanon is also awaiting Hochstein’s suggestions to resume these indirect negotiations, which are hosted by the UN Interim Force in Lebanon.