Lebanon accuses Israel of violating maritime sovereignty via energy exploitation

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-06 23:52:33|Editor: Mu Xuequan
Video PlayerClose

BEIRUT, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese House Speaker Nabih Berri said on Wednesday that Israel has violated Lebanon's waters by allowing exploitation of oil and gas in an area close to the disputed borders, National News Agency (NNA) reported.

"This constitutes a violation of Lebanon's sovereignty and it targets the country's oil wealth and waters," Berri was quoted as saying by the NNA.

Berri's remarks came during his weekly meeting with his parliamentary bloc to discuss the latest developments in the country.

Berri said this is a very dangerous matter and he will not remain quite about it.

"I will discuss this issue with the Italian prime minister who will visit Lebanon on Thursday," he said.

Lebanon has an unresolved maritime border with Israel that involves a triangular sea area of about 860 square km extending along the edge of three of its 10 offshore energy blocks.

The United States mediated between Lebanon and Israel to end the dispute over maritime borders but failed to reach any positive results.

In February 2018, Lebanon signed its first exploration and production agreements for offshore Blocks 4 and 9 with a consortium of France's Total, Italy's Eni and Russia's Novatek.

Block 9 contains an area of waters claimed by both Israel and Lebanon, but the consortium said it would not drill the block's first well near the disputed zone.