Cyprus repatriates 90 Lebanese

People walk along the beach in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. (AP)
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Updated 09 September 2020

Cyprus repatriates 90 Lebanese

  • Emigration from Lebanon is growing rapidly amid the dire economic situation

BEIRUT: Cypriot authorities on Tuesday repatriated 90 Lebanese, including women and children, to Tripoli after they tried to enter the country illegally.
“Those repatriated were tested for COVID-19 and quarantined in preparation for their return home,” said North Governorate District Commissioner Iman Al-Rafi.
Emigration from Lebanon is growing rapidly amid the dire economic situation and spiraling unemployment.
According to Lebanon’s National News Agency, Cypriot authorities will send a delegation to Beirut this week to discuss ways to “prevent boats loaded with illegal migrants from Lebanon sailing towards Cyprus.”
Cypriot authorities said an “unprecedented number of boats” had been intercepted. “At least five boats carrying more than 150 migrants were stopped by authorities,” Cypriot Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said, adding that his country “is on alert.”


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.”