2nd Round Of Lebanese-Israeli Maritime Border Talks Begins

Lebanon and Israel on Wednesday launched a second round of UN-coordinated talks over the long-standing issue of maritime and land border demarcation between Lebanese military and UN.

The meeting is being held at the United Nations headquarters in the border town of Naqoura.

Sources who spoke to dpa, revealed that there would be another round of talks on Oct. 29.

The first round took place on Oct. 14 and was described as a “protocol meeting” by the Lebanese side.

Laury Haytayan, Middle East and North Africa Director of the National Resource Governance Institute, told dpa that “this round is officially the first technical meeting.

The conflict between the two countries stems from differing demarcation methods regarding the 856 square km of shared waters.

The issue escalated following natural gas discoveries in the Mediterranean Sea, as both countries claim gas deposits there for themselves.

Lebanon signed its first offshore drilling agreement with an international consortium in 2018, although exploration of the area called Block 9 has not yet begun due to controversy around ownership.

Israel and Lebanon are officially at war and there are recurring tensions along the border between the Israeli army and members of the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement.

The Lebanese side is headed by Air Force Brigadier-General Bassam Yassin, while the Israeli side is represented by Udi Adiri, Director-General of the Ministry of Energy.