BEIRUT, Lebanon (AA) – Lebanon has requested changes to a US proposal to resolve a maritime border dispute with Israel.
Lebanon’s Deputy Speaker Elias Bou Saab confirmed the request, stressing that Lebanon will not pay any share from the Karish Gas Field to Tel Aviv. He noted that this principle forms the basis of the agreement and that Israel does not have any rights in the field.
Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati said Beirut had some comments on a US proposal for a maritime border deal with Israel and would send them to US mediator Amos Hochstein.
The Lebanese premier stressed that ensuring Lebanon’s rights is “fundamental” and not subject to concessions.
Lebanon had received a letter from Hochstein regarding a proposed solution to the maritime border dispute.
The US proposal was also handed to the Israeli side, with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid saying it would “strengthen Israel’s security and Israel’s economy.”
Lebanon and Israel have been locked in a dispute over a maritime area of 860 square kilometers (332 square miles), according to maps sent by both countries to the UN in 2011.
The area is rich in natural gas and oil. Starting in 2020, five sessions of indirect negotiations have been held on the issue under UN sponsorship and US mediation.
The US is currently supporting a bid to transfer the region to Israel’s ownership while giving some form of compensation to crisis-ridden Lebanon.