Without introductions, it was announced last week that they would return to the indirect technical negotiations between Lebanon and Israel to demarcate the maritime borders between them, after they were suspended last October as a result of disputes over the borders of the disputed area.
Since the US State Department announced sending the mediation team to Beirut in order to resume negotiations, observers have been busy analyzing the circumstances and reasons that paved the way for the return to the negotiation track after it was suspended last November, following the two sides’ disagreement over the size of the disputed maritime area.
After studies prepared by the Lebanese army, Beirut raised its demands from an area of 860 square kilometers to reach about 2,290 square kilometers in the waters that Israel considers its exclusive economic zone, which enables Lebanon to reach the areas believed to contain quantities of oil and gas on the border between the two sides.
Lebanon witnessed a political controversy after Lebanese President Michel Aoun refused to sign the draft Decree 6433 amending the maritime border demarcation. Aoun responded that the matter had to be approved by a caretaker government, given its importance and the consequences of it.
Observers considered that this step falls within the framework of allowing Aoun the way for Washington to re-launch negotiations.
In the regional and international context, observers consider that the new US administration – which is engaged in a campaign of diplomatic negotiations dealing with regional security and strategic partnership in the region, starting from the Vienna talks related to the Iranian nuclear file through the files of Afghanistan and Yemen and others – has found an appropriate time to move the issue of maritime border negotiations between Lebanon. And Israel. In implementation of this, the two sides held a new round of negotiations at the headquarters of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in the town of Naqoura, in southern Lebanon.
The strategic expert, Khaled Hamadeh, said that the main reason that pushed President Joe Biden’s administration to launch negotiations again is that it approaches all files in a new way, far from what he called the diplomatic legacy of the previous administration.
Hamadeh added to Al-Jazeera Net that the United States, which has the greatest influence, is serious about re-launching negotiations between Lebanon and Israel, with knowledge of the technical differences that exist between the two parties on the issue of border demarcation.
He believed that the Lebanese political administration almost abandoned its delegation to the negotiations after it did not intend to amend Decree 6433 relating to the exclusive economic zone of Lebanon due to internal disputes.
However, Hamadeh pointed out that the Lebanese negotiator had technical arguments to establish his rights, and considered that if the Americans agreed to seek the help of a team of international experts to help demarcate the borders, Lebanon would get additional space in the exclusive economic zone. Advertising
Hamadeh concluded that the success of the negotiations depends on the Americans’ desire to reach understandings to end this file.