Lebanese official denies settlement with Israel

Not part of normalization trend, says official

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Moscow, Dec 23 (Sputnik) The currently deferred maritime border demarcation negotiations between Lebanon and Israel are not part of a broader normalization agenda between the two countries, General Director of the Lebanese Economic and Social Council Mohammad Saifeddine told newsmen on Tuesday.
“The negotiations are not steps towards normalization. These are technical, indirect negotiations of a specific nature and purpose, and Lebanon has its claims in this subject and is not seeking an official recognition as declared by relevant Lebanese parties,” Saifeddine  said.
Referred to as “normalization”, the recent wave of recognition of the state of Israel by a number of Arab states highlighted the shifting geopolitical faultiness in the region, with the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco establishing bilateral relations with the Jewish state as of September.
The Lebanese side was quick to deny that the US-mediated Lebanese-Israeli border negotiations are a prelude to recognition, with Hezbollah SG Hassan Nasrallah highlighting that the talks are in no way related to normalization or reconciliation shortly following their announcement.
Talks between the two de-jure warring countries were announced by Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri earlier in October. By November, negotiations appeared to have hit an impasse on the eve of their fifth round, with anonymous officials from both sides stating that the talks have been postponed until further notice.

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