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Lebanese president approves maritime border deal with Israel

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BEIRUT, LEBANON - (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY - MANDATORY CREDIT - "PRESIDENCY OF LEBANON / HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) President of Lebanon Michel Aoun talks to press regarding the maritime border deal with Israel in Beirut, Lebanon on October 13, 2022. (Presidency of Lebanon - Anadolu Agency)
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Oct 14, 2022 - 02:26 AM

BEIRUT (AA) – Lebanon’s president on Thursday approved the final draft of a maritime border deal with Israel after Tel Aviv’s Security Cabinet did the same.

Roughly a decade of efforts on the maritime boundary between the two countries has concluded positively to pave the way for oil and gas extraction off their coasts, Michel Aoun said on Twitter.

Aoun said all of Lebanon’s demands had been met and its rights protected in the indirect agreement, stressing that no concessions were made to Israel.

Since late 2019, Lebanon has been grappling with a severe economic crisis that saw the value of its currency plummet, along with fuel and medicine shortages.

On Wednesday, Israel’s Security Cabinet voted to approve the maritime deal with Lebanon. The Israeli government and parliament, the Knesset, are yet to convene to review the terms of the deal.

The agreement, the first on border demarcation between the two nations that have been at war since 1948, still needs to be formally ratified, for which no date has yet been set.

Lebanon and Israel had been locked in a dispute over a maritime area of 860 square kilometers (332 square miles), according to maps sent by both countries to the UN in 2011.

Negotiations over the territory in the Mediterranean Sea, which contains part of the Karish gas field and prospective gas field of Qana, have been ongoing since 2020.

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