Lebanon president delays declaration on waters disputed with Israel
The declaration had been accepted on Monday by Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab and other senior figures in the caretaker government.
The move would increase Lebanon’s claims by approximately 550 square miles in a disputed area of the Mediterranean believed to contain substantial quantities of oil and natural gas.
Both Israel and Lebanon claim that this region is in their exclusive economic zones.
Diab said the declaration should be given assent by Aoun to allow a claim to be lodged with the UN, according to Reuters. Beirut’s focus on fossil fuel-rich waters comes amid the country’s ongoing economic collapse.
The nation’s currency has lost 90 percent of its value against the dollar on the black market and the UN says 55 percent of Lebanese people now live in poverty.
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