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Lebanon rejects US proposal on maritime borders with Israel

Nabih Berri, Speaker of the parliament of Lebanon
Nabih Berri, Speaker of the parliament in Lebanon [File photo]

Speaker of Lebanese Parliament Nabih Berri on Friday told the state National News Agency (NNA) that a US proposal concerning the disputed Lebanon-Israel maritime border was “unacceptable.”

During a meeting with the acting Assistant US Secretary of State David Satterfield, Berri stressed that the borders could only be demarcated based on the April 1996 Understanding between Israel and Hizbullah, which was brokered by the US to end the conflict initiated by Israel’s Grapes of Wrath operation. After the conflict, a Monitoring Committee was set up to implement the Understandings; it was composed of US, France, Syria, Israel and Lebanon

Beside meeting with Berri, Satterfield met on Friday with Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri.

In a statement issued by Berri’s office, he insisted that borders’ demarcation could only be decided by the Monitoring Committee.

The statement added that this stance was expressed during a discussion about regional issues and the maritime borders with Israel.

According to Anadolu Agency, Satterfield offered a previous US proposal, which is based on Lebanon conceding 360 square kms out of its 860 square kms of water to Israel. This area is known as the disputed Number 9 oil field.

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