Lebanon: US suggestion on disputed maritime border between Lebanon and Israel ‘unacceptable’

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Lebanon on Thursday as a part of his Middle East tour. Tillerson met with Lebanese officials and discussed the disputed maritime border between Lebanon and Israel. Tillerson also discussed the threat posed by Hezbollah.
Rex Tillerson and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Washington Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State/Wikicommons

On Thursday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson continued his Middle East tour and met with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. The two spoke about the disputed maritime borders and oilrigs between Lebanon and Israel.

Accompanying Tillerson was Acting Assistant US Secretary of State David Satterfield. The Lebanese news source NNA reported that Berri told Satterfield that the US proposal on the disputed maritime borders between Israel and Lebanon is “unacceptable.”

The two countries are arguing over gas drilling rights and Israel’s construction of a border wall that Lebanon says infringes on its territory. At a joint press conference with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Tillerson stated, “We’ve asked no one to give up anything. Rather, we’re looking for a solution.” Tillerson also addressed the threat posed by Hezbollah to Lebanon’s security.

This meeting comes about a week after Hezbollah threatened Israel and the aforementioned disputed territory through a video and flyers. As previously reported by JOL, the flyers warned, “Anyone who goes after oil and gas in the economic waters of Lebanon will lose his oil sites- and he knows that Lebanon is capable of doing so.” The maritime border between Israel and Lebanon has long been a topic of controversy between Israel and Lebanon.

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