Lebanon army chief: No compromise on sovereignty in maritime border negotiations with Israel

Lebanese Army Commander in Chief General Joseph Aoun (C). (File/AFP)
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Updated 20 November 2020

Lebanon army chief: No compromise on sovereignty in maritime border negotiations with Israel

  • Israel and Lebanon launched the negotiations last month with delegations from the long-time foes convening at a UN base to try to agree on the unresolved border

Lebanon’s army chief said on Friday that there would be no compromise on the country’s sovereignty in maritime border negotiations with Israel.

President Michel Aoun on Thursday specified Lebanon’s starting point for demarcating its sea border with Israel under US-mediated talks, in the first public confirmation of a stance sources say actually increases the size of the disputed area.

Israel and Lebanon launched the negotiations last month with delegations from the long-time foes convening at a UN base to try to agree on the unresolved border that has held up hydrocarbon exploration in the potentially gas-rich area.

Israel continues to launching threats to attack Lebanon and tamper with the nation’s internal stability, said Armed Forces Commander, General Joseph Aoun, two days ahead of Lebanon’s Independence Day.

“77 years of independence and Lebanon is currently going through an unprecedented critical and difficult phase on the political, economic and social levels,” the general said, with reference to the recent port disaster that claimed the lives of hundreds amid the coronavirus global pandemic.

The army chief said everyone in Lebanon is counting on the military to face “danger and bury sedition,” vowing that any attempt that threatens civil peace would not be tolerated.

Lebanon celebrates Independence Day on November 22. But the country has cancelled all forms of national festivities marking the occasion amid an outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, Israel late Thursday accused Lebanon of changing its position in talks on their disputed maritime border and warned it could lead to a “dead end” that would be damaging for the whole region.

“Lebanon has changed its stance on its maritime border with Israel seven times,” Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz tweeted.

“Its current position contradicts not only its previous one, but also Lebanon’s stance on its maritime border with Syria, which takes into account Lebanese islands close to the border,” Steinitz said.


Rocket hits small oil refinery in Iraq's north, no casualties -officials

Updated 42 min 49 sec ago

Rocket hits small oil refinery in Iraq's north, no casualties -officials

TIKRIT, Iraq: A rocket hit a small oil refinery in northern Iraq on Sunday, causing fire and minor damage, two refinery officials said.
Firefighters are still trying to contain the fires, refinery and local officials said, which broke out after the rocket hit a fuel storage depot inside the Siniya refinery.
There were no reports of casualties at the refinery, which is near Iraq's largest oil refinery of Baiji in the Northern Salahuddin province.