Lebanon cannot dictate phrases in sea border talks with Israel – minister

  • Israel, Lebanon at odds over gasoline discipline delineation
  • U.S. mediator due in each international locations this month

PARIS, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Israel is able to renew efforts to unravel its dispute with Lebanon over the delineation of their territorial waters within the Mediterranean, nevertheless it is not going to settle for that Beirut dictates the phrases of the negotiation, its vitality minister mentioned on Tuesday.

The talks mediated by the United States have been launched a yr in the past to attempt to resolve the dispute, which has held up exploration within the probably gas-rich space. The talks stalled in May.

U.S. particular envoy Amos Hochstein is due in each international locations this month to attempt to give contemporary impetus to the talks simply as Lebanon has sought clarifications from the worldwide group after Israel granted U.S. oilfield companies group Halliburton (HAL.N) an offshore drilling contract. learn extra

“We need to look for a solution that leads to a breakthrough and not try to think in the old ways of drawing lines,” Israel’s Karine Elharrar informed Reuters in an interview in Paris, including that she would communicate to Hochstein quickly.

At the top of talks in May, Lebanese President Michel Aoun mentioned there ought to be no preconditions. He rejected the U.S. mediator’s recommendations asking for negotiations to be on the idea of Israeli and Lebanese border traces already submitted and registered with the United Nations. learn extra

“We started (negotiations) by one line and then they (Lebanon) pushed the line. Pushing and pushing the lines literally,” Elharrar mentioned. “It’s not the way to have a negotiation. They cannot dictate the lines.”

Earlier talks stalled after both sides introduced contrasting maps outlining proposed borders that really elevated the scale of the disputed space.

Israel already pumps gasoline from large offshore fields. Lebanon, which has but to search out business gasoline reserves in its personal waters, is going through its worst financial disaster since its 1975-1990 civil battle.

Mohamed Ebeid, a Lebanese skilled on the border talks and former director on the info ministry, mentioned the brand new U.S. mediator is due within the second half of October in Beirut.

“Unfortunately we have returned to internal bickering instead of going to the negotiations with one stance,” Ebeid told Reuters when asked about the fact that Lebanon changed its mind about lines.

Since the talks stalled, Lebanon’s former caretaker prime minister and ministers of defence and public works approved a draft decree which would expand Lebanon’s claim, adding around 1,400 square km (540 square miles) to its exclusive economic zone.

“We share a gasoline discipline and must discover a resolution on use it so that every aspect could have its share of it in a good method,” Elharrar said. “We are keen to present it one other shot.”

Additional reporting by Laila Bassam in Beirut; Editing by Giles Elgood