US commits to ensuring demarcation agreement moves to implementation
US President Joe Biden congratulates Israeli PM Yair Lapid and Lebanese President Michel Aoun as the demarcation agreement comes closer to finalization.
Senior US sources informed reporters on Tuesday that US President Joe Biden contacted the leaders of both "Israel" and Lebanon to congratulate them on achieving a maritime demarcation agreement.
"Earlier today, just a short while ago, President Biden spoke with Prime Minister of Israel Yair Lapid and the President of Lebanon Michel Aoun and extended United States congratulations on reaching this milestone, and US commitment and President Biden administration's commitment to continue supporting both countries as move forward into implementation," the official said.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid announced earlier that "Israel" has reached a historic agreement on maritime demarcation agreement mediated by the US.
"This is a historic achievement that will bolster Israel's security, bring billions into the Israeli economy and bring stability to the northern border," Lapid said in a statement.
The written draft agreement, added Lapid, will be presented to Security Cabinet and the government for approval on Wednesday.
According to Lapid's office, the draft agreement "meets all the security and economic principles laid out by Israel."
Israeli media, soon after Lapid's statements, gave former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a platform to criticize the drafted agreement from a position of opposition. The opposition leader argued that "this is not a historical agreement, but rather a historical submission, liquidation [in the commercial sense] one that pertains specifically to Lapid."
Over the weekend, Lapid explained, intensive negotiations took place between "Israel's" negotiating team and the US to reach a working draft. The US, in the meantime, held negotiations with Lebanon which had been interested in demarcating its southern maritime economic zone.
The negotiations became necessary after Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah threatened to target the Karish rig if "Israel" began oil production at a time when Lebanon remained sanctioned and forbidden from taking on an equal endeavor within its maritime economic zone.
According to the office of Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Lebanon is content with the draft agreement, since it meets all of its demands.
Read more: Lebanese Presidency: Final demarcation draft meets Lebanon's demands