The Lebanese government has asked the Syrian government to start negotiations on demarcating the maritime borders between the two countries.
This call comes after the signing of an agreement between Syria and Russia, on oil and gas exploration in the Mediterranean, in the maritime border area between Syria and Lebanon.
In light of the discontent of Lebanese politicians about the Assad regime’s ingestion of 750 square kilometers of Lebanese waters, the Lebanese government demanded that the issue be resolved through negotiations with Damascus, to avoid resorting to international courts.
In an interview with MTV, Lebanese Foreign Minister Charbel Wahbe said that the Lebanese President, Michel Aoun, contacted the head of the regime, Bashar Al-Assad, regarding the border demarcation.
But Wahbe did not disclose the content of the call, adding, “I cannot reveal the content of the call between Aoun and Assad,” while no official statement was issued about the call from either side.
He said, “Lebanon will not give up its sovereignty over water, not even a centimeter. We stick to demarcating the borders, and we call on the Syrian side to negotiate between us.”
He alluded that Lebanon can take the issue to international courts. “It will go to the United Nations and then arbitration and direct negotiations, and the last resort is resorting to international courts.”
Wehbe explained that he had not obtained the text of the Syrian-Russian agreement on oil exploration so far, stressing that a letter had been sent to the Assad regime during the past days on the issue.
Last month, the Assad government ratified a contract with the Russian “Capital” company, to explore for oil off the coast of Tartous, Syria, provided that exploration would take place in the “marine block number one,” off the coast of Tartous governorate up to the southern Syrian-Lebanese sea border With an area of 2259 square kilometers.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.