Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Monday said Lebanon will not give up on its maritime rights and claims on natural resources in the indirect negotiations on border demarcation with Israel.
“This is aimed at preserving Lebanon’s rights and reaching a solution, in cooperation with the American mediator, that would protect our wealth,” the president said in a speech to mark the Lebanese army’s 77th anniversary.
The president remarks came a day after U.S. energy envoy Amos Hochstein arrived in Beirut to mediate the indirect talks between Lebanon and Israel.
Hochstein told reporters he “remained optimistic about making progress towards a deal” after meeting with top Lebanese leaders including the president.
Aoun said the conclusion of the negotiations constitutes an opportunity for Lebanon to explore its oil and gas wealth and improve its economic situation.
According to the president, Lebanon is also keen to maintain calm and stability on its southern borders, a mission carried out faithfully and professionally by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and in cooperation with the Lebanese army. (Xinhua/NAN)