Biden says Israel, Lebanon have concluded ‘historic’ maritime deal

Biden says Israel, Lebanon have concluded ‘historic’ maritime deal

WASHINGTON (AFP): Lebanon and Israel formally concluded a “historic” maritime border deal on Thursday in the presence of US officials, President Joe Biden said.

“Both parties took the final steps to bring the agreement into force and submitted the final paperwork to the United Nations in the presence of the United States,” Biden said in a statement.

The accord between Israel and energy-starved Lebanon, which have no diplomatic relations, was brokered through mediation of a US envoy, Amos Hochstein, who was attending the exchange of letters in the southern Lebanese town of Naqoura.

Biden said the “historic agreement” benefitted both countries.

“This agreement takes us one step closer to realizing a vision for a Middle East that is more secure, integrated and prosperous, delivering benefits for all the people of the region,” Biden said.

Lebanese armed group Hezbollah will end an “exceptional” mobilization against Israel after threatening to attack for months, its leader Hassan Nasrallah said Thursday after Lebanon and Israel struck a maritime border deal.

“All the exceptional and special measures and mobilization carried out by the resistance for several months are now declared over,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech, calling the agreement a “great victory for Lebanon.”

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