President Emmanuel Macron calls for Lebanon-Israel understanding on joint gas exploration

French President Emmanuel Macron defended today that Israel must reach an agreement with Lebanon for the exploration of gas in its maritime borders.

Israel and Lebanon “have an interest in reaching an agreement that will allow for energy exploitation that will benefit both peoples […] France already contributes to this effort and is ready to contribute more”, the French President told journalists, after welcoming Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid at the Élysée Palace in Paris.

In 2020, the two countries began to negotiate the maritime delimitation of their borders through a mediation carried out by the United States to then develop gas exploration.

However, in 2021 negotiations were suspended due to disputes over the size of the zones to which each country would be entitled.

Over the weekend, the Israeli army shot down three Lebanese Hezbollah drones, which were headed for the Karish gas exploration, one of the points of contention between the two countries.

After the meeting with Macron, Lapid said that his country will not “retreat”, given the “repeated attacks” that it is targeting.

The two leaders discussed the war in Ukraine and the consequences of the conflict worldwide on food and energy security.

Another issue that was on the agenda at the Elysée was the Iran nuclear deal, as well as Franco-Israeli cooperation in the field of defence.

This is Lapid’s first international trip since taking the reins of the Israeli government last week following the dissolution of parliament.

Source: With Agencies

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