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Lebanon announces who will lead maritime border talks with Israel

Lebanese President Michel Aoun in Tunis, Tunisia on 31 March 2019 [FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images]
Lebanese President Michel Aoun in Tunis, Tunisia on 31 March 2019 [FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images]

Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun yesterday listed the members of the delegation that will take part in next week’s negotiations over its maritime borders with Israel, reported the Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper.

This comes after officials from both countries, who remain formally at war, announced last week that they are to hold talks to end a long-running maritime border dispute.

Israel and Lebanon have no diplomatic relations and each claim about 330 square miles of the Mediterranean Sea as within their exclusive economic zones.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc today said negotiating with Israel over maritime borders “is not connected to” making peace with Israel. However, in August, President Aoun said that Lebanon was “open” to peace negotiations.

READ: Lebanon, Israel agree to talks over maritime border disputes

The Lebanese negotiating team includes Brigadier-General Bassam Yassin, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Lebanese Army for Operations and Wisam Shbat, the head of the Lebanese Petroleum Administration.

The planned talks will be the first negotiations between the two warring states on a civilian matter in 30 years, and the US could be set to mediate further negotiations over the UN-demarcated Blue Line, the border which separates Lebanon and Israel, in the near future.

The talks are scheduled to take place in the border town of Naqoura and will be held under the auspices of the Unit

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