Thursday, June 20, 2024

Lebanon FM says Iran not interfering in negotiations with Israel over gas field

Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Abdullah Bou Habib has rejected allegations of Iran’s interference in his country’s negotiations with Israel over a disputed maritime border.

Bou Habib says Lebanon has not been under pressure to demarcate its maritime borders, adding that Beirut is holding the negotiations through a US mediary.

“Iranian officials have visited Lebanon twice but did not talk about this issue with me or any other official. The Officials did not even mention anything about doing or not doing this, never. Even the Iranian ambassador has not talked about this [the negotiations]. Hezbollah, which has strong ties with Iran, also says negotiations are your job. You go and see what you agree upon. We do neither support you, nor oppose you,” he says.

Beirut and Tel Aviv are discussing the fate of the disputed Karish natural gas field in the Mediterranean to end tensions after Israeli moved a drillship to begin extraction of gas from the field.

Hezbollah had earlier warned that it is ready to take any necessary step to protect the natural riches of Lebanon.

The negotiations on Karish field have so far produced no result. Bou Habib, however, expressed optimism that they could lead to an agreement by September.

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