Thought for the day

"When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it." -- Quoted in 'Clarence Darrow for the Defence' by Irving Stone


Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Tuesday urged a French energy company to begin exploring for natural gas in Mediterranean waters, after Lebanon and Israel reached a US-brokered agreement to divide their maritime borders.

According to the Lebanese presidency, Aoun told a delegation from TotalEnergies that he wants drilling to swiftly begin in “Block 9,” which is near the border with Israel and contains the Qana gas field.

The Lebanese military claimed Sunday that Israeli naval gunships have violated Lebanon’s sovereignty by entering its territorial waters. The Israel Defense Forces denied the claim.

The latest alleged incident took place Saturday off the coast of Naqoura in southern Lebanon, the Lebanese military said, accusing an Israeli warship of crossing some 330 meters into Lebanese territory and staying there for 10 minutes before turning back.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has announced his country’s acceptance of the US-brokered maritime border deal with Israel, saying talks had come to “a positive end”.

The deal represents a “historic achievement” in which Lebanon regains 860sq km (332sq miles) of disputed maritime territory in the Mediterranean Sea that is home to offshore gasfields, Aoun said on Thursday.

However, he insisted it did not pave the way for the normalisation of relations with Israel.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati has persuaded President Michel Aoun to vote against Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian provinces at the UN on 12 October.

According to the details revealed by Al-Akhbar, the US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea sent a written “letter of persuasion” to both Mikati and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdullah Bou Habib.

US Pressure was also exerted on the Lebanese mission at the UN and the Lebanese embassy in Washington.