Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Lebanon’s top diplomat pledges to work with Cyprus on potential offshore gas

Lebanon is ready to work with Cyprus to exploit potential gas deposits in waters between the two east Mediterranean countries, Lebanon’s top diplomat said, even though a deal on offshore rights hasn’t been formally finalized. Cyprus and Lebanon signed an agreement delineating their respective offshore exclusive economic zones in 2007, but the Lebanese parliament has yet to ratify it amid the country’s ongoing maritime border dispute with Israel. Nevertheless, Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib said after talks with his Cypriot counterpart in Nicosia that “with Cyprus there’s no problem, once we found gas we’re ready to go, put it together.” “We talked about it and I can assure you that Lebanon is ready to do it,” Bou Habib said. The Lebanese top diplomat’s remarks come as Europe is seeking new energy sources to wean itself off Russian gas in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (https://www.kaaltv.com/world-news/lebanon-ready-to-work-with-cyprus-on-potential-offshore-gas-/6447093/?cat=10237) Any discoveries within Lebanon’s own economic zone would be a long-term boon for the crisis-hit country’s beleaguered economy.

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