Lebanon, Cyprus seek to demarcate maritime border after Israel-Lebanon landmark deal

Lebanese President Michel Aoun and a visiting Cypriot delegation have kicked off the negotiation to demarcate maritime borders, said a statement by Lebanon’s Presidency.

“We aim to solve the pending issue of maritime border demarcation with Cyprus after having agreed on our southern maritime borders with Israel,” President Aoun said on Friday.

“There is no need for a mediator between Lebanon and Cyprus because we are neighbouring and friendly countries, and this makes our task easy,” he added during his meeting with Cypriot Special Envoy Tasos Tzionis.

“Lebanon is a friendly country; we consider ourselves at home during our presence in this country. We’ve had a friendly and constructive discussion about maritime border demarcation,” Tzionis said.

“We are very optimistic that after the technical work today, we will settle all the demarcation issues, which is not a difficult task, and the timing is very appropriate; that’s what our two countries need after launching exploration work,” the Cypriot envoy said.

Tzionis also assured that “there is no problem between Lebanon and Cyprus that cannot be easily resolved”.

Lebanon and Cyprus agreed on a proposed maritime border in 2007, but Lebanon never ratified the agreement, Xinhua news agency reported.

Following the meeting with the Cypriot delegation, Lebanon’s Deputy Parliament Speaker Elias Bou Saab declared that Lebanon has to reach an agreement with Syria on northern border demarcation to proceed with maritime demarcation with Cyprus as there is a common border point between the three countries.

Earlier this week, Syria postponed a scheduled visit by a Lebanese delegation for talks on maritime borders because of “prior engagements from the Syrian side”.




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