Lebanon's maritime borders: Challenges and uncertainties in demarcation with Cyprus

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2023-03-20 | 09:58
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Lebanon's maritime borders: Challenges and uncertainties in demarcation with Cyprus
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Lebanon's maritime borders: Challenges and uncertainties in demarcation with Cyprus

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati will try to limit his visit to Cyprus to congratulate Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides and avoid raising the issue of completing the demarcation of maritime borders between the two countries. 

Therefore, Caretaker Minister of Public Works Ali Hamieh will not be part of the accompanying delegation to avoid embarrassment, especially since he expressed optimism last October regarding completing the file after meeting with a Cypriot delegation. 

Amid talk about Lebanon wanting to renegotiate the demarcation of its maritime borders with Cyprus, and without any official denial of this talk, information surfaced the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not confirm that nor deny that Lebanon received a report from the Lebanese embassy in Ankara stating that Lebanon has more rights in the shared waters with Cyprus. 

Did Lebanon rely on this report to move toward renegotiation? And are the Turks behind this report? 

According to insiders with access to the file, Lebanon, in accordance with Decree 6433, drew the line with Cyprus between points 23 and 7 and deposited it with the UN. 

The Cypriots agreed with this demarcation and made no protests. These insiders questioned whether Lebanon has a solid legal study supported by international law and scientific principles that demonstrate Lebanon is entitled to more space. 

And if this study already exists, why is it not being presented for discussion and analysis? 
 
Insiders familiar with this file emphasized that Lebanon needs, as soon as possible, to officially establish point 23 in the south with Cyprus after it was established with Israel. 
 
Cyprus also needs to establish this point with Israel. Lebanon needs to establish point 7 with the Cypriots in the north, as this establishment is essential for any contracting in Blocs 1 and 2.

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