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Lebanon president follows up on damage from oil spill

BEIRUT, LEBANON - OCTOBER 21: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY – MANDATORY CREDIT - "LEBANESE PRESIDENCY / HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) Lebanese President, Michel Aoun addresses citizens via a TV channel ahead of consultation talks on the task of establishing new government in Beirut, Lebanon on October 21, 2020. ( Lebanese Presidency - Anadolu Agency )
Lebanese President, Michel Aoun in Beirut, Lebanon on 21 October 2020 [Lebanese Presidency/Anadolu Agency]

Lebanon said yesterday that President Michel Aoun is following up on reports concerning an oil spill on Israel's shores which reached Lebanon's southern beaches.

"President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, followed up on available data concerning the oil spill on the shores of occupied territories [Israel]. The President also followed up on measures which must be taken to limit its negative impact on the Lebanese coast, especially after the appearance of sporadic black spots on the southern coast of Ramle Al-Bayda," an official statement said.

The statement added that Aoun stressed on the need to conduct a comprehensive survey of Lebanese territorial waters, to search for any contaminated spots, as well as inspect the coast to determine the damage and work to address it.

The office of the Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab said in a statement that the ministers of defence, environment and administrative development, and the National Council for Scientific Research have been assigned to follow up on the issue.

According to the statement, "the sticky black deposits" that appeared on Israeli beaches have now reached a nature reserve in Tyre, southern Lebanon.

Earlier on Sunday, dozens of tonnes of tar appeared on many stretches of Israel's 190 kilometre Mediterranean coastline. Many have warned that it will take months, or possibly years to clean the area up.

Israeli officials believe the source is an oil spill following a storm on 11 February which damaged a ship some 50 kilometres off the coast.

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