Bahaa Hariri calls for arranging the Lebanese House “separately from Hezbollah...

Bahaa Hariri calls for arranging the Lebanese House “separately from Hezbollah...
Bahaa Hariri calls for arranging the Lebanese House “separately from Hezbollah...
The US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, David Schenker, announced that the Israeli-Lebanese talks will begin in Naqoura on October 14 at the United Nations headquarters and will be hosted by the representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Lebanon Jan Kubis, with Schenker to attend in person.

Schenker explained in a press conference by phone that the agreement between Lebanon and Israel was sponsored by the United States and was the result of three years of diplomatic engagement by America at the request of the Lebanese and Israeli sides.

He stressed that this agreement is a framework agreement to start talks and not an agreement on demarcating maritime borders or sharing natural resources that may exist in the region.

Schenker encouraged the two parties to take advantage of this opportunity to reach an agreement that would benefit both sides. He stressed that the talks will focus on solving the outstanding problems around Blocks 8, 9 and 10 in an area extending to 855 square kilometers in the sea.

On why Lebanon agreed to negotiate with Israel at this time and whether the matter is related to sanctions, the US Assistant Secretary of State said, “My understanding is that Lebanon is in a financial crisis and will benefit greatly from the use of its natural resources, which will help it solve its financial problems.”

He added, “I do not know why we got this approval now. But whatever the reason, we are here today, and in two weeks from now we will meet and start talking about demarcating the borders.”

Regarding the land borders between Lebanon and Israel, Schenker said, “There have been talks in the past about the Blue Line. We welcome at this stage the steps by the two parties to resume talks at a higher level on the points that are still pending on the Blue Line with the aim of reaching an agreement between them on that.” .

The US official pointed out that “this path is separate and is usually discussed between the Israelis, the Lebanese and the United Nations.”
Al-Hurra asked Schenker about whether Hezbollah had agreed to Lebanon’s decision to hold talks with Israel. He replied: “We do not talk with Hezbollah, and I know that the Presidency office will lead the talks and will form the negotiating delegation.”

Al-Hurra also asked him about whether negotiations would lead to normalization between Lebanon and Israel, so Schenker emphasized that “these talks have nothing to do with establishing diplomatic relations or normalizing relations, but will focus only on demarcating the maritime borders between Lebanon and Israel, where both parties can benefit from the natural resources of their countries.”

On the other hand, Schenker explained that the FBI is continuing to investigate the Beirut port explosion, and said, “We will announce the results when the investigations are completed.”

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