Israel and Lebanon achieved a “historic breakthrough” on Tuesday after the U.S. brokered a deal that would end their maritime border dispute, allow for natural gas production, and reduce military tensions between them.
Israel and Lebanon, which have formally been at war since Israel’s creation in 1948, are expected to sign an agreement after months of U.S.-mediated negotiations. However, legal and political obstacles still remain in Israel.
Israel welcomed the deal even before Biden announced it. In spite of not making a formal announcement, Lebanese leaders indicated that they would approve the agreement.
According to Biden, Israel and Lebanon have agreed to “formally end” their maritime dispute. According to him, both leaders were prepared to move forward after speaking with him.
Biden said, “the agreement will provide for the development of energy fields for the benefit of both countries, setting the stage for a more stable and prosperous region.” He further added that this is a crucial time that all parties uphold their commitments and work towards implementation.
Approximately 860 square kilometres (330 square miles) of the Mediterranean Sea are claimed by both Lebanon and Israel and natural gas reserves under the sea are at stake.