US mediator remains optimistic on maritime border demarcation
The US mediator of the indirect maritime border demarcation talks between Lebanon and "Israel" says he is still optimistic on the issue while Beirut signals positivity.
The US official mediating the indirect maritime border demarcation talks between Lebanon and the Israeli occupation, Amos Hochstein, said Monday he "remained optimistic" on the two sides making progress toward a deal.
Hochstein said he looked forward to returning to the region to make a "final arrangement" on the issue that led to regional tensions between Beirut and "Tel Aviv" with threats of military escalation on both sides.
Hochstein came to Lebanon carrying an Israeli proposal in response to a Lebanese demarcation proposal sent to "Tel Aviv" in June, marking his second visit to Beirut in two months.
The US envoy met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Najib Mikatim, and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri at the presidential palace in Baabda.
Lebanon is looking to clinch "a deal that preserves its rights and its wealth and that could provide, as soon negotiations are over, an opportunity to revitalize the economy," Aoun said before Monday's meeting.
"No agreement has been reached so far, and the parties are talking about needing more time to negotiate," Al Mayadeen's correspondent reported today.
Elias Bou Saab: The schism has narrowed
Lebanese Deputy Parliament Speaker Elias Bou Saab, on the other hand, said the schism regarding the border demarcation and the disputed areas had narrowed. However, he underlined that Lebanon wanted rights to all of its blocs in the Mediterranean Sea and its full rights to the Qana gas field.
"We are awaiting an answer shortly," he stressed.
Hochstein arrived in Beirut on Sunday, stressing that he wanted to reach a quick solution before the end of the summer.
As he landed in the country, the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon military media published a video that displayed the coordinates of the Israeli occupation's gas rigs off the coasts of occupied Palestine in a clear message to "Tel Aviv".
The video displayed footage of the drillship and the floating production unit alongside information pertaining to the specifics of their geolocation, giving their coordinates and information regarding the origin and details of the ships at sea based on the flags they bear. Moreover, the video displayed the exact distance of each ship from Lebanese shores.
The video was entitled: "[You are] in our crosshair... stalling is not beneficial."
Israeli media said that "Tel Aviv" was pressuring the US to reach an agreement with Lebanon before September, the date for when the extraction of oil from [the Karish] rig starts in reference to Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's latest threats.
Israeli occupation Reserve Major General Amos Gilad called on "Tel Aviv" to take Sayyed Nasrallah's threats made against the Israeli occupation on Monday seriously.
"Nasrallah's threats must be taken seriously, and [the Israeli occupation forces] must prepare," Gilad told Israeli public broadcaster KAN. "If they attack the Karish rig or any other rig, that will definitely lead to a confrontation that can have many dimensions."
Warning the Israeli occupation against committing any provocations against Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah said there were no Israeli targets in the sea or land out of the reach of the Resistance's precision missiles.