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Lebanese army chief: no compromise on sovereignty in negotiations on maritime border with Israel

The Lebanese army chief said on Friday that there would be no compromise on the country’s sovereignty in the maritime border negotiations with Israel.

President Michel Aoun on Thursday clarified the starting point of Lebanon to demarcate its maritime border with Israel in talks mediated by the United States, in the first public confirmation of a position according to sources which in fact increases the size of the disputed area.

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Israel and Lebanon kicked off negotiations last month with delegations from long-standing enemies who met at a UN base to try to agree on the unresolved border that has delayed oil exploration in the potentially gas-rich area.

Israel continues to threaten to attack Lebanon and alter the country’s internal stability, said the commander of the armed forces, General Joseph Aoun, two days before Lebanon’s Independence Day.

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“77 years of independence and Lebanon is currently going through a critical and difficult phase without precedent on the political, economic and social levels”, declared the general, in reference to the recent port disaster which claimed the lives of hundreds of people in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic.

The army chief said everyone in Lebanon was counting on the army to face “the danger and bury the sedition”, vowing that any attempt that threatened civil peace would not be tolerated.

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Lebanon celebrates Independence Day on November 22. But the country has canceled all forms of national festivities marking the occasion amid a coronavirus outbreak.

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