• Israel and Lebanon on Thursday separately signed a U.S.-brokered maritime border deal which paves the way for lucrative offshore gas extraction by the neighbours that remain technically at war.
  • The agreement is set to go into effect after two exchanges of letters — one between Lebanon and the U.S., the other between Israel and the U.S., expected from 3:00 p.m. local time.
  • Hailed in advance by U.S. President Joe Biden as a “historic breakthrough”, it comes as Western powers clamour to open up new gas production and reduce vulnerability to supply cuts from Russia. The deal, signed separately by Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun in Beirut and Israel’s Prime Minister YairLapid in Jerusalem, comes as Lebanon hopes to extract itself from what the World Bank calls one of the worst economic crises in modern world history.
  • It also comes as Mr. Lapid seeks to lock in a major achievement days ahead of a general election on November 1.
  • The exchange of letters is due to take place in the southern Lebanese town of Naqura, in the presence of U.S. mediator Amos Hochstein and the UN special coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka.
  • Lebanon’s intention to ink the deal amounted to a de-facto recognition of the Jewish state. “It is not every day that an enemy state recognises the State of Israel


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