Senior Envoy Hochstein Mediates Maritime Border Dispute, Lebanon Prepares Offer U.S. to Assess if Egypt to Lebanon Gas Deal Violates Sanctions After Terms Agreed -US Official Lebanon to Hold Consultations Over Selecting New PM on June 23
Senior Envoy Hochstein Mediates Maritime Border Dispute, Lebanon Prepares Offer
After arriving in Beirut on Monday, Senior Advisor for Energy Security Amos Hochstein indicated that indirect negotiations could be supported by a proposal from Lebanese officials, which is reported to include all of the Qana field and none of the Karish field. [Reuters] The US mediator said, “instead of focusing on what is rightfully mine versus the other side saying what is rightfully theirs … as much energy should be placed into thinking is what is a creative idea that we can all compromise around that both sides will feel I may have not gotten everything I want but I have a lot more than what I have now.” [L’Orient Today]
Senior Adviser Hochstein is absolutely correct. It’s not what each side claims is rightfully theirs, but rather whether each party is getting more than they had when this negotiation started some years ago. The parties must compromise and find a fair solution in which each side gets something the other side didn’t want to give up. He must gain and retain the trust of both parties by showing that he is a neutral facilitator with an open mind who can lead both of them to a mutually beneficial solution.
-ATFL President Edward M. Gabriel
U.S. to Assess if Egypt to Lebanon Gas Deal Violates Sanctions After Terms Agreed -US Official
During an interview with US-based Al Hurra television, US global energy security envoy Amos Hochstein stated, “We’ve given pre-approval for the project and as soon as Egypt and Lebanon can agree on the terms, which hasn’t happened yet, then we can evaluate the project” to assess its compliance with current US sanctions policy. [Reuters]
The last steps to transporting badly needed energy supplies to Lebanon are sign-offs by the World Bank and the US government once the commercial agreements are concluded. Some Members of Congress mistakenly view this issue as a potential loosening of sanctions on Syria. What they ignore is that the criteria should be what will alleviate the suffering of the people in Lebanon who are living under dire conditions. There are several concrete options that both provide power to help the Lebanese people and which offer negligible contributions to the Syrian regime. They should keep their eyes on the ball and realize this is about providing a solution to a humanitarian problem.
-ATFL Vice President Jean AbiNader
Lebanon to Hold Consultations Over Selecting New PM on June 23
Next week, President Michel Aoun and the newly elected parliament will begin consultations on selections for Lebanon’s next prime minister on June 23. Once appointed, this individual will then begin the process of forming a new government. [The New Arab]
Next week is an important milestone for the Lebanese Parliament as it waits to hear from President Michel Aoun his decision regarding the next prime minister. Najib Mikati, the current Prime Minister, is favored to be named because he has the experience and may likely be replaced after the Presidential election in the fall, providing more time for consultations among the factions. The critical consultations between the President and various Members of Parliament begin next week. Will he consult broadly, or make a back-room deal that ignores the opposition? Time to see if anything changes.
-ATFL Vice President Jean AbiNader
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed 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.