Lebanon appeals to Hollande to help resolve maritime border dispute with Israel

Published April 17th, 2016 - 12:22 GMT
Lebanese Prime Minister Tamam Salam (R) and French President Francois Hollande shake hands as they give a joint statement following their meeting in Beirut on April 16, 2016. (AFP/Stephane de Sakutin)
Lebanese Prime Minister Tamam Salam (R) and French President Francois Hollande shake hands as they give a joint statement following their meeting in Beirut on April 16, 2016. (AFP/Stephane de Sakutin)

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri reportedly asked the French President to assist Lebanon in demarcating the country’s economic maritime border in the Mediterranean Sea, warning of a possible war with Israel.

A parliamentary source reportedly told the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat that Berri had informed French President Francois Hollande Saturday at the start of his visit to Lebanon that “Israel is not only violating Lebanon’s air and land,” but also its sea.

Berri said that Israel’s claims to Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) were putting obstacles in the way of investment of oil and gas reserves in the water.

“The French Total company is among several companies, which are designated to invest in this wealth,” the source quoted Berri as telling Hollande.

He warned that this “Israeli-created problem” will ignite a war, in which “all the Lebanese will unite as they did in the 2006 war” with Israel.

Last month, Berri revealed Lebanon’s intention to officially request the demarcation of the EEZ to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon during his visit to Beirut.

An EEZ is the maritime area in which a given state enjoys special rights governing the use of economic resources.

Israel and Lebanon both lay claim to an area that spans some 860-square kilometers off the coast between the two countries rich in gas and oil resources. 

 

 

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