Since the announcement of the framework agreement that was reached as a basis for negotiation, many have objected to the origin of the negotiation. Some of those objecting to any negotiation with the enemy, who fear opening any door for “Israel” to enter from “energy” after it was forced out of the wide door. Others, however, are nothing but bidders to Lebanese political forces. However, the fears of those opposed to any negotiations with the enemy are about to materialize. Tel Aviv hastened to seek to raise the level of negotiations, to political negotiations, while the Lebanese trend is to make them technical negotiations similar to the experience of the April 1996 Understanding Committee, and the negotiations to demarcate the Blue Line after the liberation of the South in 2000, and after the July 2006 war. It started by leaking information about the leadership of the Minister of Energy in Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, Yuval Steinitz, to the Israeli delegation that will negotiate at the headquarters of the International Emergency Forces in Naqoura, as a way to raise the level of representation and give the whole process a political character. This is the first trap that Lebanon has overcome, by refusing to have a minister in the enemy’s government attend negotiations. But it seems that Tel Aviv is insisting on that. By hinting yesterday, the minister himself can participate in the negotiations “whenever he notices that the Lebanese side is stalling!” What is worse than that, and which requires a decisive Lebanese position, is that the enemy presented his “abandonment” of the idea of Steinitz’s participation in the negotiations as an important step, but he had trapped the negotiating delegation with no less dangerous than the level of a minister. The delegation will be headed by the Director General of the Ministry of Energy. By transgressing, this level can be considered a technical one, and a parallel to the participation of the head of the Petroleum Administration in Lebanon. The enemy’s delegation includes the head of the strategic planning department in the occupation army, Brigadier General Oren Sitter. Here, too, it is possible to overlook this level as being equivalent to the level of the deputy chief of staff for operations in the Lebanese army, who will head the Lebanese delegation. But what Lebanon cannot accept is the inclusion of two personalities in the delegation, they are from the purely political level, that is, the political advisor to the head of the enemy government, Reuven Azar, and the head of the political system in the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Alon Bar. At this level, it seems clear that the enemy is insisting that the negotiations be political, not technical, just as his insistence that the negotiations be direct. There must be a firm Lebanese stance that prevents the transfer of talks, via the United Nations, into negotiations of a purely political nature that discuss matters of sovereignty. And it becomes understandable here also what the enemy tried to insert in the framework agreement, when he tried to add a phrase saying that the agreement on the borders of the exclusive economic sea area is based on the minutes of the negotiation sessions. The Lebanese side rejected this phrase, because it means that the government will approve in advance everything that goes on in the Naqoura sessions, so the phrase was omitted from the agreement.
The names of the delegation that Steinitz announced yesterday night, the enemy wants to score more than one goal at the same time:
1- Imposing a political level for negotiations.
2- Embarrassing the Lebanese side, after agreeing to the principle of indirect negotiation, and throwing the ball into its court, accusing it of obstructing the demarcation that would allow oil and gas exploration in a promising region.
3- Embarrassing President Michel Aoun by holding him responsible before the Americans in case he refused the level of representation of the enemy in the negotiations, after President Nabih Berri announced the framework agreement devoid of the political level.
4- Embarrassing President Aoun’s allies, the first of which is Hezbollah, which will be forced to take a position on this level of negotiation. It is not unlikely that the timing of announcing the political level of the hostile negotiating delegation is related to the issuance of a position by the Al-Wafa bloc for the parliamentary resistance, yesterday, which affirmed that “determining the coordinates of national sovereignty is the responsibility of the Lebanese state, which is exclusively concerned with declaring that this land and these waters are Lebanese land and water.” The bloc believes, contrary to all the talk that has been said here and there, that the negotiating framework on an exclusive issue related to our southern maritime borders and the restoration of our land, leading to the delineation of our national sovereignty sites, has absolutely nothing to do with the context of reconciliation with the Zionist enemy usurper of Palestine nor the normalization policies that it recently pursued It may be adopted by Arab countries that have never believed in the option of resistance, and have never practiced it against the enemy of the nation. Read the full article Press here.
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