France’s Parly confirms Macron plans trip to Lebanon Sept 1

French President Emmanuel Macron plans to return to Beirut on Sept. 1 to follow up on the reconstruction efforts after the catastrophic blast. (File/AFP)
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Updated 14 August 2020

France’s Parly confirms Macron plans trip to Lebanon Sept 1

BEIRUT: French President Emmanuel Macron plans to return to Beirut on Sept. 1 to follow up on the reconstruction efforts after the catastrophic blast which destroyed parts of Beirut last week, French Defense Minister Florence Parly said Friday.

Parly, speaking after a tour of the French helicopter-carrier Tonnerre which arrived earlier in the day in the devastated port of Beirut, also called on the Lebanese to form a government capable of taking “courageous decisions.”

She described the ship as a “floating city” which can provide all kind of medical and technical support, including a hospital, search and rescue equipment, construction materials and also transporting a shipment of flour.

The government of Prime Minister Hassan Diab, which has the backing of the Iran-aligned Hezbollah, resigned in the wake of the explosion.


Lebanon sets out its claim in maritime border talks

Updated 29 October 2020

Lebanon sets out its claim in maritime border talks

  • A military source told Arab News: “The Lebanese side considers that Israel, through the border line it drew for itself, is eating into huge areas of Lebanese economic waters.”

BEIRUT: Lebanese negotiators laid out their claim to maritime territory on Wednesday as they began a second round of talks with Israel over their disputed sea border.
The contested zone in the Mediterranean is an estimated 860 square kilometers known as Block 9, which is rich in oil and gas. Future negotiations will also tackle the countries’ land border.
Wednesday’s meeting took place at the headquarters of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) amid tight security. An assistant of the UN special coordinator for Lebanon chaired the session, and the US Ambassador to Algeria, John Desrocher, was the mediator.
A military source told Arab News: “The Lebanese side considers that Israel, through the border line it drew for itself, is eating into huge areas of Lebanese economic waters.”
The Lebanese delegation produced maps and documents to support their claim to the disputed waters.
In indirect talks between Lebanon and Israel in 2012, US diplomat Frederick Hoff proposed “a middle line for the maritime borders, whereby Lebanon would get 58 percent of the disputed area and Israel would be given the remaining 42 percent, which translates to 500 square kilometers for Lebanon and 300 square kilometers for Israel.”
On the eve of Wednesday’s meeting, Lebanese and Israeli officials met to discuss a framework to resolve the conflict through the implementation of UN Resolution 1701.
UNIFIL Commander Maj. Gen. Stefano Del Col praised the “constructive role that both parties played in calming tensions along the Blue Line” and stressed the necessity of “taking proactive measures and making a change in the prevailing dynamics regarding tension and escalation.”