Assad denies Iranian military presence in Syria
Israeli minister confirms secret negotiations between Lebanon’s leaders over disputed border with IsraelA day earlier, the three top leaders of Lebanon discussed “Israel aggression on Lebanese land.”
Lebanon’s leaders held a special meeting to discuss Israel’s recommendations regarding the land and sea borders between the two countries, the Lebanese newspaper Al Hayat reported on Tuesday. According to the report, the secret negotiations, sponsored by the UN, with the involvement of the US, were attended by Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri and the Lebanese speaker of parliament, Nabih Berri, as well as the Lebanese head of Intelligence and other top security officials.
The leaders met in the presidential palace in the city of Naquora, close to the Israeli border. Israeli energy minister Yuval Steinitz, who oversees the indirect negotiations between Israel and Lebanon, confirmed in an interview with Reuters that “there are some new ideas on the table” but said that he could not reveal more than that.
According to Reuters, negotiations between Israel and Lebanon are being held on the condition that an agreement over the disputed water border and gas reserves is reached. Al-Hayat reported that the three leaders met a day earlier to discuss “Israel’s aggression on Lebanese land,” referring to the disputed concrete wall, which sets Israel’s current maritime northern border with Lebanon.
In the interview with Reuters, Steinitz confirmed the involvement of US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace negotiator Jason Greenblatt. Steinitz stated that “there is room for cautious optimism, but not beyond cautious.” He added that he hoped that in the coming months, or by the end of the year, “we will manage to reach a solution or at least a partial solution to the dispute.” However, he then admitted that beyond that “nothing has been settled yet.”
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