Lebanon close to maritime deal with Cyprus after it delineates sea boundary with Israel
After Lebanon and Israel officially delineated their contested sea boundary on Thursday, a Cypriot delegation said that they were close to resolving disputes concerning maritime boundaries with Lebanon, after meeting on Friday with outgoing Lebanese President Michel Aoun.
"There is no problem between Lebanon and Cyprus that cannot be resolved easily," said Cypriot special envoy Tasos Tzionis.
Michel Aoun stated that the next step following that achievement would be defining Lebanon's maritime boundaries with northern neighbor Syria and resuming talks with Cyprus to the west.
Elias Bou Saab, Deputy Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, said that it was agreed with Cyprus to amend the southern maritime border between the two countries according to the 23rd line.
Lebanon and Cyprus reached a maritime border agreement in 2007, but it did not go into force as it has not been ratified by the Lebanese parliament.
A planned visit this week to Damascus by a Lebanese delegation was postponed after the Syrian government reportedly told Beirut it was "not the right time."
Elias Bou Saab said on Friday that Syria was still the priority. He told reporters, "We will not delineate with Cyprus until we communicate with Syria."
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that they welcome marital border demarcation deal signed by Lebanon and Israel.