Lebanon affirms sovereignty ahead of new pipeline project

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-07 21:30:18|Editor: xuxin
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BEIRUT, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese Foreign Minister warned on Thursday other Mediterranean countries against violating Lebanon's maritime resources amid Israeli plans to begin a gas pipeline linking to Cyprus, Greece and Italy.

"Lebanon will not allow any violation on its rights and sovereignty," Gebran Bassil was quoted as saying by the National News Agency.

His remarks came in a letter sent to the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and the Italian, Cypriot and Greek foreign ministers.

In the letter, Bassil called on all the countries involved to respect international maritime laws.

Greece, Italy, and Cyprus reached an agreement late last year with Israel to lay a pipeline connecting the Jewish state's gas reserves to the three countries.

The 2,200-km pipeline, which will cost 7 billion U.S. dollars, will have the capacity to carry up to 20 billion cubic meters of gas yearly.

Lebanese officials have on many occasions warned against Israel's violations of Lebanon's waters by allowing exploitation of oil and gas in an area close to the disputed borders.

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.