JERSEY CITY - U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today issued the below statement in reaction to the announcement of a new maritime border deal between Israel and Lebanon dealing with oil and gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea:
“I welcome today’s historic announcement that Israel and Lebanon have accepted a final demarcation of their maritime border, the first such deal in over 70 years. This agreement represents a significant step forward in regional economic development, particularly for Lebanon, and will contribute to ensuring peace and stability in the region as well as help Europe continue efforts towards diversifying its energy supply.
“Both the Israeli and Lebanese negotiators deserve recognition for working through significant differences to reach an equitable arrangement that will yield tangible benefits to their citizens. I also commend the Biden administration, especially Secretary of State Blinken and Amos Hochstein, special presidential coordinator for international energy affairs, for their work in facilitating this agreement and bringing it to fruition. As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I stand ready to support the next steps towards implementation of this agreement as well as ongoing efforts to further Israel’s integration into the region.”