Lebanese Pres. approves maritime deal with 'Israel', reveals details
Lebanese President Michel Aoun announces Lebanon's agreement to adopt the final version of the maritime border demarcation agreement, stressing that it "responds to Lebanon's demands and preserves its rights in full."
Lebanese President Michel Aoun announced on Thursday that Lebanon agreed to adopt the final formula prepared by the US mediator Amos Hochstein to demarcate the southern maritime borders.
In a televised speech, Aoun stressed that "this agreement responds to the Lebanese demands and preserves our rights in full," stressing that this achievement would not have been completed without the unified Lebanese stance.
إن هذه الاتفاقية غير المباشرة تتجاوب مع المطالب اللبنانية وتحفظ حقوقنا كاملة، وأشكر كل من وقف إلى جانب لبنان في هذا الإنجاز الذي ما كان ليتحقق لولا وحدة الموقف اللبناني وصلابته في مقاومة كل الضغوط وفي عدم تقديمه أي تنازلات جوهرية، وعدم دخوله في أي نوع من أنواع التطبيع المرفوض— General Michel Aoun (@General_Aoun) October 13, 2022
"Lebanon did not pave the way to any kind of the rejected normalization," the Lebanese President said, hoping that the end of the negotiations would be "a promising beginning that lays the foundation for an economic revival that Lebanon needs through completing oil exploration."
The Lebanese President stressed that "Lebanon did not concede not even a kilometer to 'Israel', as we obtained the entire Qana field, and refused to recognize the Israeli buoys' line."
Aoun addressed the Lebanese people by saying "Your resistance has proven to be an element of power for Lebanon, and you have contributed to fortifying the Lebanese position in negotiation as well as in confrontation."
أتمنى أن تكون نهاية هذه المفاوضات بدايةً واعدةً تضع الحجر الأساس لنهوضٍ اقتصادي يحتاجه لبنان من خلال استكمال التنقيب عن النفط والغاز، ما يحقّـق استقراراً وأماناً وإنماءً يحتاج إليها وطننا لبنان— General Michel Aoun (@General_Aoun) October 13, 2022
"The 8, 9, and 10 oil fields in our exclusive economic zone were under threat, but we were able to protect them thanks to the agreement," he added, explaining that "the next step should be resolving the disputed region between Lebanon and Syria through brotherly discussions."
من حق لبنان أن يعتبر أن ما تحقق بالأمس هو إنجاز تاريخي لأننا تمكنا من استعادة مساحة 860 كيلومتراً مربعاً كانت موضع نزاع ولم يتنازل لبنان عن أي كيلومتر واحد لإسرائيل كما استحصلنا على كامل حقل قانا من دون أي تعويض يدفع من قبلنا على الرغم من عدم وجود كامل الحقل في مياهنا— General Michel Aoun (@General_Aoun) October 13, 2022
"What we reached yesterday in the file of marine demarcation and later exploration and extraction, was not spur of the moment, but rather the fruit of a long process that began in 2010 when the Ministry of Energy and Water, which was headed by Minister Gebran Bassil, prepared a draft law on petroleum resources in Lebanese marine waters," Aoun noted.
"In parallel with the work on oil and gas exploration, Lebanon had to carry out the process of demarcating its maritime borders and correcting errors that occurred in the demarcation with Cyprus, which 'Israel' exploited to submit to the United Nations line No. 1. Consequently, Lebanon had to submit to the United Nations line 23, which had been defined by Decree 6433 in 2011," he explained.
He went on to say that "Lebanon has become an oil-producing country, and what was once a dream has become a reality today thanks to our steadfastness," noting that Total "will have to start exploration to compensate the country for the years that have passed without oil and gas being extracted."
في الآتي من الأيام سيكون على شركة "توتال" أن تبدأَ أعمال التنقيب في حقل قانا، كما وعدت، لنعوض السنوات التي مضت من دون أن نتمكن من استخراج النفط والغاز في وقت كانت فيه إسرائيل تواصل عمليات التنقيب والاستخراج، ما أحدث خللاً في الموازين النفطية— General Michel Aoun (@General_Aoun) October 13, 2022
Aoun said that "the next step should be to hold talks with Syria to resolve the disputed area with it, which is more than 900 square kilometers, through brotherly discussions," adding that "the borders drawn with Cyprus should also be reviewed and then to decide what should be done in the future."
On Wednesday, President Aoun affirmed that the maritime border agreement "will pull Lebanon out of the abyss" adding that “as of next week, we will see the start of returning Syrians to their home country in batches."
This comes after Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah underlined on Tuesday that the resistance was in a highly decisive period regarding the demarcation of the Lebanese maritime borders.
"Until the agreement is signed, we must remain cautious in light of the contradictory Israeli statements," he added, noting that the case will be closed for the resistance when the Lebanese president declares his position in support of the agreement.
The Israeli occupation cabinet approved on Wednesday the US-brokered maritime border agreement with Lebanon, with all its members voting in favor, except Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked who abstained, Israeli media reported.
The maritime demarcation agreement between Lebanon and "Israel" is the biggest ever strategic mistake committed by Israeli occupation Prime Minster Yair Lapid, Israeli media said on Thursday.
"Since he became prime minister, Lapid has taken three strategic decisions, all of which point to a lack of political wisdom," Israeli newspaper Maariv said.
Israeli Major General (Reserve) Yitzhak Brick told Israeli media on Wednesday that "Tel Aviv" lost its military strength over the past two decades, exposing the occupation to various threats.
"For you to conduct negotiations about political and economic interests, you must have a trump card, and if you don't, you are giving up or gambling everything," Brick added.
Israeli newspaper Haaretz tackled the Israeli occupation's maritime border agreement with Lebanon and considered that the balance tilted to Lebanese Hezbollah's side in this matter.
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