Statement by Secretary Michael R. Pompeo
The United States welcomes the decision by the Governments of Israel and Lebanon to begin discussions on the maritime boundary. This historic agreement between the two parties was brokered by the United States and is the result of nearly three years of intense diplomatic engagement by Ambassador David Satterfield and Assistant Secretary David Schenker.
The agreement between the two parties on a common framework for maritime discussions will allow both countries to begin discussions, which have the potential to yield greater stability, security, and prosperity for Lebanese and Israeli citizens alike. Today’s announcement is a vital step forward that serves the interests of Lebanon and Israel, of the region, and of the United States. Both countries requested that the United States participate as mediator and facilitator in the maritime discussions. The United States looks forward to commencement of the maritime boundary discussions soon, to be held in Naqoura, Lebanon under the U.N. flag and hosted by the staff from the Office of the U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL).
Recognizing the positive experience of the Tripartite mechanism, the United States also looks forward to separate expert-level talks to define unresolved issues related to the Blue Line, which offer the promise of another positive step for regional stability.