AVN 71.20 Increased By ▲ 2.70 (3.94%)
BOP 9.05 Increased By ▲ 0.20 (2.26%)
CHCC 133.50 Increased By ▲ 3.50 (2.69%)
DCL 9.25 Increased By ▲ 0.10 (1.09%)
DGKC 106.21 Increased By ▲ 2.05 (1.97%)
EFERT 60.95 Increased By ▲ 0.10 (0.16%)
EPCL 45.42 Increased By ▲ 1.22 (2.76%)
FCCL 21.04 Increased By ▲ 0.24 (1.15%)
FFL 15.15 Increased By ▲ 0.55 (3.77%)
HASCOL 14.48 Increased By ▲ 0.20 (1.4%)
HBL 130.44 Increased By ▲ 0.14 (0.11%)
HUBC 79.25 Increased By ▲ 0.35 (0.44%)
HUMNL 6.20 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-0.8%)
JSCL 27.80 Increased By ▲ 1.60 (6.11%)
KAPCO 28.23 Increased By ▲ 0.03 (0.11%)
KEL 3.68 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.27%)
LOTCHEM 13.05 Increased By ▲ 0.20 (1.56%)
MLCF 40.27 Increased By ▲ 1.03 (2.62%)
OGDC 100.13 Increased By ▲ 2.13 (2.17%)
PAEL 33.80 Increased By ▲ 1.11 (3.4%)
PIBTL 12.66 Increased By ▲ 0.36 (2.93%)
PIOC 92.77 Increased By ▲ 1.61 (1.77%)
POWER 9.78 Increased By ▲ 0.24 (2.52%)
PPL 92.51 Increased By ▲ 2.72 (3.03%)
PSO 199.15 Increased By ▲ 2.35 (1.19%)
SNGP 44.00 Increased By ▲ 1.80 (4.27%)
STPL 15.36 Increased By ▲ 0.96 (6.67%)
TRG 69.07 Increased By ▲ 3.87 (5.94%)
UNITY 26.86 Increased By ▲ 1.54 (6.08%)
WTL 1.05 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
BR100 4,335 Increased By ▲ 68.12 (1.6%)
BR30 22,012 Increased By ▲ 442.39 (2.05%)
KSE100 41,665 Increased By ▲ 596.45 (1.45%)
KSE30 17,533 Increased By ▲ 251.98 (1.46%)
World

Hezbollah says border talks not 'normalisation' with Israel

  • Considered to be a "terrorist" group by the US, it is the only Lebanese group not to have disarmed after the country's 1975-1990 civil war.
09 Oct 2020

BEIRUT: Hezbollah on Thursday said US-backed talks aimed at delineating Lebanon's disputed maritime border with Israel did not signify "reconciliation" or "normalisation" with the Jewish state.

Lebanon and Israel, which are still technically at war, last week said they had agreed to begin UN-brokered negotiations over the shared frontier, in what Washington hailed a "historic" agreement.

The talks had "absolutely nothing to do with either any reconciliation with the Zionist enemy... or policies of normalisation recently adopted... by Arab states," Hezbollah's parliamentary bloc said.

"Defining the coordinates of national sovereignty is the responsibility of the Lebanese state," it said in a statement, the movement's first official comment on the start of the negotiations.

Last month, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates became the first Arab nations to establish relations with Israel since Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

The Iran-backed Hezbollah is both an armed group that has fought several wars against Israel and a major force in Lebanese politics with seats in parliament, which fought a devastating war with Israel in 2006.

Considered to be a "terrorist" group by the US, it is the only Lebanese group not to have disarmed after the country's 1975-1990 civil war.

Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz later said the talks would begin next Wednesday at the headquarters of the UN peacekeeping force UNIFIL in the Lebanese border town of Naqura.

Israel, he said, would send a six-member team to the October 14 talks.

They would include Udi Adiri, director general of the energy ministry, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's foreign policy adviser Reuven Azar and the army's strategic division head Brigadier General Oren Setter.

The issue of the sea frontier is especially sensitive as crisis-hit Lebanon hopes to continue exploring for oil and gas in a part of the Mediterranean disputed by Israel.

In February 2018, Lebanon signed its first contract for offshore drilling for oil and gas in two blocks in the Mediterranean with a consortium comprising energy giants Total, ENI and Novatek.

Lebanon in April said initial drilling in Block 4 had shown traces of gas but no commercially viable reserves.

Exploration of the other, Block 9, has not started and is more controversial as ownership is disputed by Israel.

Parliament speaker Nabih Berry, a key Hezbollah ally, announced the talks last week with a key adviser, Ali Hamdan, saing discussions would be "indirect".

The deal follows years of US shuttle diplomacy between the two sides.

As well as the discussions on the maritime border to be facilitated by the US, a separate UNIFIL-brokered track is also to address the disputed land border.