Have you ever known that the story of Lebanon maritime borders started when an embattled premier offered major concessions because he wanted to “avoid tensions” with ‘Israel’ and Cyprus?
Back then in 2007, former PM Fuad Siniora, who didn’t even bat an eyelid when hundreds of thousands of Lebanese took to streets calling for his ouster, decided to simply concede a great part of Lebanon’s maritime resources.
Here is how the story started. During Siniora’s term, Lebanon engaged in maritime talks aimed at delimitation Lebanon and Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ).
In order to “avoid a clash” with Cyprus and the Zionist entity, Siniora agreed on points of equidistance that led to the cutting out of a great area of Lebanon’s EEZ.
Many officials and legal experts challenged the unofficial agreement, which took place at a time when the government’s conventionality was doubted after the resignation of Shiite ministers.
The Lebanese Parliament in 2008 didn’t ratify the agreement, but rather questioned the official who represented Lebanon in the talks with Cyprus.
The journey to demarcate Lebanon’s maritime borders continued, with patriotic Lebanese experts being keen to secure full rights of their country.
The videograph below, prepared by Al-Manar Website, presents a timeline of major stages Lebanon went through in order to reach the maritime deal in October 2022.
What Lebanon Gained?
Lebanon signed on October 27, 2022 the maritime deal with the Zionist entity. Under the US-brokered deal, Lebanon obtained Line 23 plus the Qana gas field.
Throughout years, the Zionist entity was exploiting the concession Siniora made in 2007 by sticking to Line 1 and trying to impose it as the Lebanon’s maritime boundary.
However, Lebanon managed to secure an area of 860 km² of its EEZ, thanks to Lebanon’s official stance backed by Hezbollah’s power of deterrence with the Israeli enemy.
Away from figures, Lebanon secure the entire Qana gas field which breaks south of the Line 23. The reservoir is estimated to contain nearly 100 billion cubic meters of natural gas, making it a highly profitable endeavor that could help Lebanon to get out of the current economic crisis.
Line of Buoys
Meanwhile, the so-called Buoys Line, which was set by the Israeli occupation following the liberation of south Lebanon in 2000, was upheld by the Israeli enemy in the area which lies in the southwest off Lebanon’s coast.
The “Bouys Line” was in the latest months an issue of dispute in the indirect talks between Lebanon and the Zionist entity. Lebanon was firm on the illegality of the so-called line. In a letter sent in response to US mediator Amos Hochstein’s deal proposal, Lebanon requested amending the item that tackles the “Buoys Line”.
“Lebanon affirms that this line is meaningless since it doesn’t exist. Lebanon considers the current situation in this area as a de-facto (factual) situation that is not legally recognized,” the letter sent by Lebanon in early October said.
Meanwhile, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah stressed that the area between the so-called Buoys Line and Line 23, which is of 2.27 km², is an occupied area.
“The only remaining issue that has not been resolved yet as Lebanon expressed reservation about it is the Line of Buoys,” Sayyed Nasrallah said in a televised speech via Al-Manar on October 29, 2022, two days after the deal was signed.
Hezbollah Secures Lebanon’s Rights
In his October 29 speech, Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated that Hezbollah has never interfered in defining the lines which the Lebanese State was indirectly negotiating the Israeli enemy over.
He affirmed that the resistance role in the maritime deal was backing the Lebanese State’s stance, through threats it had announced in a bid to confront the Israeli enemy’s attempts to deny Lebanon’s maritime right.
“Hezbollah was fully ready to face all options, including the break out of an all-out war with the Zionist entity. All fields and facilities in the occupied Palestinian waters have been within the reach of our missiles and drones,” Sayyed Nasrallah said in his latest speech.
Hezbollah threats were crucial, as confirmed by enemies and friends, in forcing the Zionist entity to recognize Lebanon’s rights. Such role is a real guarantee to confront the Zionist entity’s greed, as well as the concession policies adopted by anti-resistance camp in Lebanon, which Fuad Siniora belongs to.
Source: Al-Manar English Website