Beyond the Blue Line: Lebanon's reservations in border demarcation

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2023-07-14 | 12:48
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Beyond the Blue Line: Lebanon's reservations in border demarcation
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3min
Beyond the Blue Line: Lebanon's reservations in border demarcation

Lebanon has identified and preserved 13 points during the border demarcation process, as referred to by the Lebanese Army, which took place after the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon on May 25, 2000. This demarcation process is commonly known as the "Blue Line," extending from Naqoura to the outskirts of the town of Al-Mari, next to the Syrian town of Al-Ghajar.

These points are categorized into two sections by the Lebanese Army:

The first section, called "Basket A" by the Army, includes points extending up to 25 meters into Lebanese territory. Notable points in this section include Ras Naqoura (also known as B1), Alma Al-Shaab, Al-Bustan, Marwahin, Yaroun, Meiss Al-Jabal, KfarKel;l, and Adaisseh. 

The second section, named "Basket B" by the Lebanese Army, comprises points that extend more than 25 meters into Lebanese territory. These points are situated in Alma Al-Shaab, Rmeish, Blida, Adaisseh, and Mtolleh al-Wazani.

In 2017, during meetings held in Naqoura under the auspices of international forces, an agreement was reached to address seven of the 13 reserved points. The resolution of issues adjacent to the settlement of Meskfaam was of utmost importance.
 
Following the completion of maritime border demarcation in October, the United States and the United Nations emphasized the need for a comprehensive resolution to the remaining reservations.

While this stance was conveyed to the Lebanese Army, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri reportedly declined to proceed with the process, citing the absence of a president as a prerequisite.

However, Hezbollah agreed to resume the operation, which is now being facilitated by UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon), focusing on resolving these reservations, notably point B1 at Ras Naqoura, where the Israeli breach extends 17 meters and half a meter to the north.

A decisive tripartite meeting is scheduled in Naqoura on Monday to address the reservations at the six remaining points.

Discussions will also be held regarding the situation in Al-Mari and Syria's Al-Ghajar, as well as Hezbollah's tents in the hills of Kfarshuba.

The Lebanese side will reiterate its readiness to conclude the reservations file, observing the Israeli response after previous delays, which may change with the visit of US envoy Amos Hochstein, currently in Israel.

Moreover, some sources indicated that any agreement on the 13 reservations would only be announced upon its final completion and implementation on the ground, with the coordinates of the adjustments sent to the United Nations.
 

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