Exclusive: Lebanese Minister's comments on new gov't, maritime borders
The Minister of Information in the caretaker government, Ziad Makari, makes statements during his visit to Al Mayadeen about the latest developments related to the Lebanese government formation and maritime border demarcation.
The Minister of Information in the caretaker government, Ziad Makari, visited on Monday the headquarters of Al Mayadeen TV in Beirut, praising its role and the work of its team in Lebanon and the world.
During his visit, Makari said that "there are positive signs of progress in the ongoing contacts to form the government, two weeks before the end of President Michel Aoun's term."
Makari indicated that "this matter could change at any time," noting that "the Lebanese people and the political class fear a long-term presidential vacuum."
Makari also considered that "the presidential elections in Lebanon are linked to internal and external factors, and that these factors may affect its achievement on time."
وزير الإعلام في حكومة تصريف الأعمال زياد مكاري لـ #الميادين:— قناة الميادين (@AlMayadeenNews) September 12, 2022
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He explained that "the presidential election could be linked to the demarcation of the maritime borders, the Vienna talks, or other regional issues," adding that "if the maritime borders are drawn quickly, this could speed up the process of electing a president."
In this context, Makari indicated in his interview with Al Mayadeen that "there are positive signs about reaching a solution soon in the issue of the maritime border demarcation."
He declared that "there is a fear of international custody over the maritime borders," stressing at the same time that Lebanon rejects any such custody.
On Sunday, a source familiar with the matter revealed to Al Mayadeen that the US envoy for the demarcation of the maritime borders, Amos Hochstein, handed Lebanon the coordinates of the line of maritime buoys.
The source explained that these coordinates constitute the "last point that is being negotiated", in preparation for sending his [Hochstein's] "full offer" next week.
Hochstein had arrived in Lebanon during the past few days to hold a lightning round of talks with senior officials, and after his meeting with President Michel Aoun, Deputy Speaker of Parliament Elias Bou Saab, and the Director-General of the Lebanese General Security, Major General Abbas Ibrahim, he spoke about "very good progress" in the negotiations
According to Bou Saab, maritime demarcation negotiations with the Israeli occupation are "going in the right direction," affirming that "communication and contacts will intensify in September and we hope we will be able to reach a result."