Lebanon says Israeli maritime border threatens peace

Lebanon warned the United Nations that Israel's proposed maritime border threatens peace and security, as the two East Mediterranean nations spar over offshore oil and gas resources.

“Foreign Minister Adnan Mansur has sent a letter to UN Sec. Gen. Ban Ki-moon rejecting geographic coordinates Israel submitted to the [UN] concerning the northern part of the waters it claims,” the ministry said.

It said Israel’s claim “infringes on Lebanon's Exclusive Economic Zone” and represents “a clear violation of Lebanon’s rights…and puts international peace and security at risk.”

The ministry said, “We urge the secretary general to take all necessary measures to avoid conflict.”

Israel recently developing several large offshore natural gas fields in the East Mediterranean, notably Tamar and Leviathan gas fields offshore Israel’s northern city of Haifa, with Tamar holding a reported 238 billion cu m of gas and Leviathan, 450 billion cu m.

Lebanon’s letter to the UN follows a decision by Israel’s Cabinet in July to approve new northern maritime borders. At the time, Lebanon took issue with the Israeli claim, saying that it would file a complaint against Tel Aviv with the UN.

“For sure we will file a complaint. This is an aggression on our gas and oil rights and we will not remain silent,” said Lebanon's Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour (OGJ, July 18, 2011, p. 20).

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