Lebanon Daily News Brief 10/14/2022

Friday, October 14, 2022



Lebanese Energy Minister Relays Qatari Interest in Energy Consortium in Eastern Med
According to Reuters, “Lebanon’s caretaker energy minister said on Friday Qatar has expressed an interest in joining a consortium involving Eni (ENI.MI) and TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA) that is exploring for oil in the eastern Mediterranean sea. A post on the official cabinet Twitter account, citing Walid Fayyad, said the consortium was exploring for oil in blocks 4 and 9 in the region.” [Reuters]

US Embassy Marks 15 Year Anniversary of Law Enforcement Partnership
According to Naharnet, “U.S. Ambassador Dorothy Shea met Thursday with Internal Security Forces chief Major General Imad Othman on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the signing of the first letter of agreement between the United States, through the Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), and the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF), on October 5, 2007.” [

French Foreign Minister Visits Beirut, Urges Swift Election of New President
According to AP News, “French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna on Friday urged Lebanon to swiftly elect a new president or risk plunging the poverty-stricken country into a deeper political crisis.” [
AP News]

Sursock Palace Rehabilitation Receives New Funding
According to The 961, “As part of the LiBeirut initiative, UNESCO has announced a new funding agreement with the Swiss Federal Office of Culture and the Sursock Palace Association to fund the initial phase of the Sursock Palace’s rehabilitation.” [The961]


Rounding Up The News From Lebanon – From The Good To The Continued Drama
Jean AbiNader

AbiNader writes, “Lebanon and Israel announced their acceptance of the meticulous drafted maritime boundary negotiations thanks to the Lebanese team headed by Deputy Speaker Elias Bou Saab and the diligent mediation work of US Special Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein. After a final week of headlines like “After collapse of Lebanon maritime deal, Israel fears Hezbollah attack,” followed by another round of the two-way finger-pointing that passes for negotiations in the region, a breakthrough finally emerged over the weekend. Both Lebanon and Israel took a long look at what’s best for regional prosperity and stability, stopped the saber-rattling and instead settled on a deal that benefits both countries. There are still parties in Israel that oppose the deal based on domestic politics while the parties in Lebanon decided that progress on this front had too many benefits to ignore. So a deal was made.”

Read More Here

L’Orient Today
France, The Other Mediator In The Maritime Deal

Jeanine Jalkh and Élie Masboungi

Jalkh and Masboungi write, “A flurry of diplomatic activity was required for the conclusion of the maritime border demarcation agreement between Lebanon and Israel. The United States played the leading role, through its mediator Amos Hochstein, who was in constant contact with both sides in the past few days before the agreement was reached. But France also carried some of the weight in the home stretch. ‘The active interference of Emmanuel Macron, who had been following the issue very closely lately, helped to unblock the process at the last minute,’ said a source at the Élysée, requesting anonymity due to the sensitivity of the topic. Unlike Washington, Paris maintains an open dialogue with Hezbollah and could have intervened several times to convince the party to give the green light to a deal with the “Zionist enemy.” It is in this vein that one must understand the meeting held on Oct. 5, at Hezbollah’s headquarters between French ambassador to Beirut Anne Grillo, the head of Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc Mohammad Raad, and Hezbollah’s foreign affairs chief Ammar Moussawi, in addition to other officials at the embassy. While France plays an important role in the maritime border file, it is because French energy giant TotalEnergies is involved in the forefront. According to a source in Baabda, Paris plans to continue working alongside TotalEnergies, which is part of the consortium in charge of the offshore oil and gas exploration and exploitation in Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and has been called upon to act as de facto intermediary by paying “financial compensation” to Israel for the part of the Qana field that extends into the disputed area.”

Read More Here

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the American Task Force on Lebanon, a non-profit, nonpartisan leadership organization of Lebanese-Americans.