Lebanon is prepared to mark its maritime border and exclusive economic zone with Israel under the supervision of the United Nations, Lebanese Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri said in late April.
Berri said that officials were ready to use “the mechanism adopted in the demarcation of the Blue Line,” which marks Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000.
Lebanese officials have repeatedly warned that Israel sought to steal part of Lebanon’s potential oil and gas wealth by drilling wells close to or in maritime areas claimed by Lebanon.
For a detailed look at the southern maritime border dispute, click here.
President Michel Aoun had asked U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to assist Lebanon with solving the dispute earlier in April, specifically calling on him to help “convince” Israel to be responsive to Lebanon’s intentions to delineate the border.
Berri’s announcement comes after Lebanese officials were reported to have agreed to a U.N.-mediated effort to solve the dispute based on a proposal by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his visit to Beirut in March, by newspapers - The Daily Star and Asharq al-Awsat.
The newspapers quoted sources close to Berri as saying that the speaker had accepted Pompeo’s proposal to establish a tripartite committee including Lebanon, Israel and the UN. There has not been official confirmation of this.
The UN would act as a mediator between the two nations, which officially remain at war. The committee would also be “facilitated” by a representative of the U.S.