Published: 2022-10-27 11:46
Last Updated: 2023-03-25 22:33
Lebanon and Israeli Occupation were Thursday set to sign a maritime border agreement that paves the way for lucrative offshore gas extraction by the neighbors which remain technically at war.
The US-brokered deal, hailed by President Joe Biden as a "historic breakthrough," comes as Western powers clamor to open up new gas production and reduce vulnerability to supply cuts from Russia.
The agreement was set to be finalized at a time when Lebanon seeks to extract itself from what the World Bank calls one of the worst economic crises in modern world history.
The expected signing also comes as Israeli Occupation Prime Minister Yair Lapid seeks to lock in a major achievement days ahead of a general election on November 1.
It is due to be signed at the headquarters of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon in the border town of Naqura, in the presence of US mediator Amos Hochstein and the UN's special coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka.
Lebanon -- which has fought a series of wars with Israeli Occupation -- will not allow its delegation to be in the same room as the Israeli Occupation side, and the two parties will not even sign the same piece of paper.
"The agreement... will take the form of two exchanges of letters, one between Lebanon and the United States, and one between Israel and the United States," said Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN Secretary General.
Rafic Chelala, a spokesman for the Lebanese presidency, confirmed that the Lebanese delegation "will not ... meet the Israeli delegation".
Lapid had confirmed on Monday that Israeli Occupation would sign the "historic" deal, after an Israeli Occupation court the previous day rejected petitions demanding the approval of parliament.