Williams after Meeting Bassil: Demarcating Maritime Border Should Stand as Obstacle for Drilling for Oil


U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams revealed on Thursday that the international organization is currently studying the best way to assist Lebanon in drilling for petroleum in the Mediterranean and demarcating its maritime border.

He made his statements after holding talks with Caretaker Energy Minister Jebran Bassil on the political situation in Lebanon and the economic challenges facing it, as well as the government formation process.

He stressed during the meeting the need for Lebanon to take several steps in demarcating the maritime border with Syria, Cyprus, and Israel, adding that this issue should not stand as an obstacle for it to drill for petroleum, especially since Lebanon has signed a cooperation agreement with Cyprus and that this matter has nothing to do with Israel.

Furthermore, he hoped that this issue would be set as a priority for the new Cabinet.

Williams added that he held a meeting earlier on Thursday with President Michel Suleiman during which he informed him of the U.N. Security Council’s latest report on the implementation of resolution 1701, announcing that it will convene at the end of the month to discuss the resolution.

The talks also addressed regional developments and the government formation process.