Cabinet Approves Borders of Exclusive Economic Zone
The cabinet on Monday approved the proposed borders of Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone in the Mediterranean, a step that was postponed during the last session.
On September 5 Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour warned the U.N. that Israel's proposed sea border threatens peace and security.
Mansour sent a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon “rejecting geographic coordinates Israel submitted to the United Nations concerning the northern part of the waters it claims,” the foreign ministry said.
It added that the Israeli claim "infringes on Lebanon's Exclusive Economic Zone," a sea zone that gives a state the right to explore its maritime resources.
"This is a clear violation of Lebanon's rights ... over an area of some 860 square kilometers, and puts international peace and security at risk," it said, adding, "We urge the secretary general to take all necessary measures to avoid conflict."
Lebanon and Israel, which remain technically at war, locked horns over the maritime border after the discovery of potential offshore energy reserves.
The Israeli cabinet in July approved a map and submitted it to the United Nations, which has been asked to mediate the growing conflict.
The Israeli map conflicts with Lebanon's proposed borders, which give the Jewish state less territorial waters and was submitted to the United Nations last year.
Lebanon argues its map is in line with an armistice accord drawn up in 1949, an agreement which is not contested by Israel.
Israel has for months been moving to develop several large offshore natural gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean, some of which are shared with Cyprus.
With 41 items on its agenda, the cabinet convened at the Grand Serail under Prime Minister Najib Miqati.
Miqati “briefed the cabinet on the public transportation policy, while Public Works and Transport Minister (Ghazi Aridi) is supposed to present the necessary executive plans,” Information Minister Walid al-Daouq told reporters after the session.
Miqati held talks with representatives from the land transportation syndicate and public drivers Monday morning at the Grand Serail to discuss the implementation of a deal that was agreed upon last week.
An Nahar daily reported Monday that the Finance Ministry began receiving the drivers’ requests for fuel subsidy payments.
Last week, the drivers’ union suspended its nationwide strike after reaching a deal with Miqati.
The strike was aimed at protesting the government’s failure to deliver on a monthly LL400,000 fuel subsidy promised in May.