POLICY Statement

October 4, 2022: ATFL Encourages Lebanon And Israel To Finalize Maritime Boundary Agreement As Soon As Possible

October 04, 2022

The American Task Force on Lebanon (ATFL), a leadership organization of Americans of Lebanese descent, endorses and encourages the finalization of a maritime border agreement between Lebanon and Israel. According to reports, this agreement greatly supports the interests of the Lebanese people and represents a long term sustainable solution for both countries. Successful conclusion of these negotiations will have security benefits for the region, increase stability for Lebanon, and prosperity for its people.

First of all, it is a significant confidence-building measure that would reduce tensions between Lebanon and Israel and would seed the ground for future discussions to address security issues. Secondly, given the world’s concerns with identifying additional sources of energy, an agreement will enable the parties to actively explore and exploit the potential sources in the areas being mediated, thus contributing to economic stability in Lebanon, Europe, and the Mediterranean region.

As importantly, it is a positive and hopeful sign for the Lebanese people that their current economic crisis may begin to ease with opening the area to active international investment.

ATFL applauds the work of Amos Hochstein, US Senior Advisor on Energy Security, for his ongoing commitment and efforts to bring the parties closer together. The US government has shown an exceptional commitment to bringing about a successful negotiation. Without such support, it is likely that the disputed maritime fields would not be settled for another generation or more, thus precluding Lebanon from any oil and gas exploration for years to come.

Edward Gabriel, president of ATFL, stressed that the time for a positive conclusion to the negotiations is now. “Concluding a fair, just and successful deal is incumbent on both parties. With increasing global instability and demands on the US government in other regions of the world, the Lebanese government must understand that this two-years plus process must come to fruition quickly before this opportunity is lost.”

The American Task Force on Lebanon is 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of prominent Americans of Lebanese heritage, who educate for the strengthening of the historic U.S.-Lebanon relationship. The mission and objectives of ATFL shall always be in the best interest of the United States and will promote the national unity, independence, and prosperity of a democratic and multi-sectarian Lebanon.

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