Lebanese President Suggests 3rd Party to Resolve Border Dispute with Israel

Lebanese President Suggests 3rd Party to Resolve Border Dispute with Israel

Saturday, 24 February, 2018 - 09:45
Lebanese President Michel Aoun. Bilal Hussein / Associated Press
Beirut - Asharq Al-Awsat
Lebanese President Michel Aoun has said that a maritime border dispute with Israel could be settled through a third party under United Nations sponsorship “to demarcate the border and resolve this problem.”

“The current situation does not permit Israel to encroach on the border because there is a Lebanese decision to defend the land and sea border,” Aoun said in an interview with the Iraqi Al-Sumaria TV.

The president said he informed US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during his visit to Beirut last week that Lebanon has maps dating back to the 1920s that confirm its rights to its land.

“The whole world has [access to] them and they can’t be manipulated. What Israel is demanding in this respect will lead to the loss of these rights,” Aoun said. “Let Israel resort to [international] arbitration. Or else, the consequences could be tragic and Israel realizes what that means to reach these consequences.”

US envoy David Satterfield, who is mediating between Beirut and Tel Aviv, left Beirut Friday after holding talks with top Lebanese officials.

The interview with Aoun was conducted during his official visit to Iraq this week. Excerpts of the interview were released by the presidential media office on Friday.

Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin denied that a letter he delivered to Lebanese Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil from his Russian counterpart had anything to do with the border dispute between Beirut and Tel Aviv or offshore block 9 which holds gas reserves.

“Russia does not have a special role in this regard. This is clear to everyone,” Zasypkin said.

He told reporters that he discussed with Bassil the developments in the region.

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