BEIRUT: Talks between Israel and Lebanon over disputed maritime borders are expected to resume next month following two days of productive negotiations, the US and UN said.
US-mediated talks held at the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) headquarters in Naqoura ended on Thursday with plans for another round of negotiations to begin on Nov. 11.
Lebanon presented documents and maps claiming its right to 2,270 sq. km of the marine area, a position at odds with Israel.
Following the talks, the US and the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon released a statement saying: “Building on progress from their Oct. 14 meeting, on Oct. 28 and 29 representatives from the governments of Israel and Lebanon held productive talks mediated by the US and hosted by the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL).
“The US and UNSCOL remain hopeful that these negotiations will lead to a long-awaited resolution. The parties committed to continue negotiations next month.”
Meanwhile, a terrorist attack that left three people dead in a church in the southern French city of Nice has drawn widespread condemnation in Lebanon.
Prime minister-designate Saad Hariri condemned what he described as a “heinous criminal attack.”
After meeting with Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian, Lebanon’s top Sunni religious authority, he said: “The incidents in France are regrettable, but we condemn in return the words and cartoons mocking the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). But what happened today in Nice is a very regrettable murder because it makes it seem like all Muslims have the same mentality, and this is entirely false.
“Thoughts, speech or revenge should not be based on this logic. This discourse is wrong. Just as well, such cartoons should not be published, and we condemn them. But the important thing is to realize that Islam is fine.”