Lebanon reaffirms commitment to border demarcation with Cyprus

News Bulletin Reports
2023-03-22 | 10:28
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Lebanon reaffirms commitment to border demarcation with Cyprus
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Lebanon reaffirms commitment to border demarcation with Cyprus

Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, met with Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides to discuss the maritime border demarcation between both countries. While Lebanon did not disavow its commitment to the demarcation, it stated that it could not make any decisions as it is currently a caretaker cabinet. Moreover, the maritime boundary issue requires a president to be in office to finalize any treaty between the two countries.

However, the meeting between Minister of Public Works Ali Hamieh and the Cypriot minister responsible for the demarcation issue remained possible.

But do we need a treaty negotiated by the President of the Republic and approved by Parliament?

Currently, Lebanon and Cyprus have only an oral agreement on the borderline from point 23 to point 1. This agreement was made after the maritime border demarcation deal with Israel.

On the other hand, Cyprus has only approved a treaty confirming the borderline between points 1 and 6, a treaty based on a decision taken by the Lebanese government under Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and on the basis of a bilateral agreement between Cyprus and Israel.

But, the Parliament did not ratify this treaty, and Cyprus was subsequently informed that Lebanon had modified the borderline, with point 23 becoming the new reference point. Therefore, the Cyprus treaty was canceled under the demarcation agreement with Israel, and the recognition of these effects by Cyprus.

Lebanon and Cyprus also have a memorandum of understanding, signed by former Foreign Minister Zeina Akar in 2021, regarding cooperation between both countries in the oil sector. However, this memorandum has not been issued by decree, as the Ministry of Public Works has expressed observations about some of its contents.

The demarcation of the maritime border between Lebanon and Cyprus requires a final text, which can be a treaty or an agreement similar to that with Israel. Thus, any obstruction or pretext against demarcation is not in Lebanon's interest.
 

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