A new round of indirect negotiations on the demarcation of Lebanon’s southern maritime border with the occupying regime of Israel has been postponed for an indefinite period as Beirut turned down preconditions set by the United States.
Lebanon's Al-Jadeed TV channel said the sixth round of talks which was supposed to be held on Wednesday morning had been postponed to “a not yet specified date.”
The talks resumed on Tuesday after they broke down late last year.
The Daily Star on Wednesday cited security sources as saying that the overnight postponement came after President Michel Aoun stressed there should be no preconditions, as previously agreed.
"President Aoun has given his instructions to the negotiating team that talks should not be tied to any preconditions and should rely on international law that will remain the basis for reaching a fair solution," Aoun said after meeting with the Lebanese delegation on Tuesday, according to a statement by the Lebanese presidency.
The statement noted that mediating US Ambassador John Desrocher had asked the Lebanese delegation to stick to the previously submitted border lines.
Lebanon and Israel have held similar talks on the demarcation of the Mediterranean Sea border that separates Lebanon from the occupied territories.
However, the negotiations stalled after each side presented contrasting maps outlining proposed frontiers that actually increased the size of the disputed area.
Lebanon fought off two Israeli wars in 2000 and 2006. On both occasions, battleground contribution by the Hezbollah resistance movement proved an indispensable asset, forcing the Israeli military into a retreat.
Lebanon and Israel have been technically at war since 1967. The latter has had the Arab country’s Shebaa Farms under occupation.
Beirut eyes the issue of delineation of its southern border zone with great sensitivity both due to concerns of Israel’s expansionist policies and given its plans to engage in oil and gas exploration in its share of the Mediterranean.
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