ATFL and Congressional Leaders Applaud Lebanon-Israel Maritime Accord
An October 10th letter from Reps. Darin LaHood, Darrell Issa, and Debbie Dingell, Co-Chairs of the US-Lebanon Friendship Caucus, can be accessed here.
The American Task Force on Lebanon welcomes the agreement between Lebanon and Israel on a maritime border that demarcates the exclusive economic zones between the two countries. Mediated through the intense efforts of US Special Envoy for Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein and Lebanese Deputy Speaker Elias Bou Saab, the agreement is the culmination of efforts that have been in play since 2003 under then-Special Adviser Frederick Hof and revived under the Biden Administration two years ago.
The agreement is more than a boundary, it is the beginning of economic possibilities for Lebanon to join other Eastern Mediterranean countries in exploiting energy resources that will satisfy both domestic and international market needs. With the increasing reliance on natural gas in the global effort to reduce the carbon footprint of energy usage, any commercially viable discoveries will have a welcome and profitable impact.
More importantly, it gives added stability and security to the region by reducing provocations between Israel and Lebanon, providing a basis to settle the land boundary, and encouraging international investors to bring fresh funds into projects in Lebanon, increasing the economic health of the country.
ATFL thanks the US government for its continued efforts to bring about this agreement and the negotiators, Amos Hochstein and Elias Bou Saab, for their efforts to address and resolve this challenging effort.
“This agreement brings hope to the Lebanese people who have suffered through many months of economic despair and social upheaval; and it reminds the global community of the support still needed by those people to recover and survive through what the World Bank has said is the worst economic disaster since the mid-19th century,” said ATFL President Ed Gabriel.
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.