The demarcation of exclusive maritime zones returns to the front of the table, this time with a controversy both at the regional level between Syria and Lebanon and at the internal level.

Originally, the agreement signed by the Syrian authorities with a Russian company “Capital” allowing the exploration of block 1 of their maritime zone. However, Syrian Block 1 would encompass parts of Lebanese Blocks 1 and 2 over an estimated area of 750 square km, Laury Haytayan said.

The overlap covers an area of 750 square kilometers, so Damascus does not have the right to start the exploration process until the border dispute is resolved. The Lebanese government must preserve its maritime rights recognized by the United Nations by launching negotiations, she deplored then.

No controversy, but negotiations with Damascus which are now necessary, believes outgoing Minister of Foreign Affairs Charbel Wehbé

For the time being, the Lebanese authorities, through the outgoing Minister of Foreign Affairs Charbel Wehbé, believe that no violation of maritime borders is taking place for the moment since the areas explored by the Russian company are in Syrian areas. not contested.

As for the area claimed by the 2 countries, it should be the subject of negotiations in accordance with international law.

This controversy is also not new, he recalls. It would originate in 2011 with the publication by the Lebanese authorities of a delimitation of its maritime zones on that date. As early as 2013, the Lebanese authorities were able to launch calls for tenders for the exploration of the resources of blocks 1, which had already led Damascus to protest.

Block 1 and 2 of Lebanon would be potentially rich in gas and oil resources according to studies previously carried out under the auspices of the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources by a Norwegian company.

Then in 2014, it was Syria’s turn to do the same while presenting its objections to the route to the United Nations and pending bilateral negotiations to resolve the dispute over maritime points between the 2 countries.

Such an internal controversy in Lebanon: Should we negotiate with Syria?

The controversy has since become also local, after the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Gébran Bassil revealed having sent more than 20 letters in order to obtain the opening of negotiations with Syria in order to delimit the Lebanese maritime zone and that after that some of his political opponents directly implicated him in this matter.

He thus recalled that no authorization to open such negotiations was granted to him in Lebanon, some parties, the same today at the origin of the controversy, refusing any direct negotiations with the Syrian regime.

Now, the opening of negotiations with Damascus now seems necessary, while Lebanon also began negotiations last October, with a view to delimiting its exclusive zone with Israel, a state with which it is still technically at war.

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