Lebanese officials are exerting efforts to resolve the remaining disputes over the offshore natural reserves in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), As Safir newspaper reported on Tuesday.
President Michel Suleiman chaired a meeting on Monday at the Baabda Palace with Prime Minister Najib Miqati, Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour, Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn, Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi, Energy Minister Jebran Bassil and several other involved officials.
Sources told the daily that the meeting was the introduction to the implementation phase, which will be set by the cabinet during Wednesday’s session that is set to be held at the Baabda Palace, local Naharnet news website reported.
According to the sources, the gatherers discussed the possibility of establishing a “Sea Blue Line” to define the Lebanese EEZ, similar to the Blue Line along the Lebanese-Palestinian border.
A disputed zone that consists of about 882 square kilometers would be left to the negotiations between Lebanon and the Zionist entity and sponsored by the United Nations.
The suspected energy reserves in the area could generate billions of dollars.
The sources noted that Suleiman expressed enthusiasm over the idea, which would help Lebanon to swiftly begin exploration in its offshore natural resources.
However, Bassil expressed discomfort with the idea, insisting that Lebanon takes a tougher stance regarding the disputed area.
Lebanon has been slow to exploit its maritime resources compared with other eastern Mediterranean countries. The Zionist entity of occupation, Cyprus and Turkey are all much more advanced so far in drilling for oil and gas.