• Lebanon leaders to meet as Zionist regime threatens 'Stone Age'

Senior Lebanese leaders will meet later this week to deescalate political tensions and discuss measures to counter Zionist entity’s threats against Lebanon’s offshore oil and gas exploration projects, officials say.

According to Press TV, President Michel Aoun will hold a meeting with Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Saad Hariri before noon Tuesday at the presidential palace of Baabda to boost stability amid rising Israeli threats against the Arab country.

The meeting comes after tensions flared last week between the Free Patriotic Movement, founded by Aoun, and the Amal Movement, presided by Berri, fueled by a video in which Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, who heads the FPM party, was shown calling Lebanon’s parliament speaker a “thug.” A wave of protests by Berri’s supporters ensued.

“Hopes are pinned on this [Baabda] meeting to lay the foundation for bolstering stability and opening horizons of further cooperation in the interest of the country and its civil peace,” Berri told visitors at his Ain al-Tineh residence Sunday night.

The gathering will focus on discussing the necessary measures the country needs to take after after Israeli remarks on oil and gas exploration in south Lebanon’s Block 9.

“Although the Baabda Palace meeting has an open agenda, the main topic is the south and the Israeli regime aggression on Lebanon’s Block 9 and Israel’s plan to build a separation wall on the Lebanese-Israeli border,” an official source at Baabda Palace said.

“The three leaders will seek to defuse political tensions and bolster stability to confront Israel’s threats against Lebanon’s right to explore its oil and gas wealth in its territorial waters,” the source added.

Commenting on a tripartite meeting between senior Lebanese, UN and Israeli army officers at the Lebanese border town of Naqoura scheduled for Monday to discuss Israel’s plan to build a concrete wall on a disputed border area, Berri stressed Beirut’s opposition to the project.

“Lebanon’s representative has been instructed to reaffirm Lebanon’s right to prevent any Israeli attempt to build a wall on the ground through which [Israel] aims to seize oil in the sea. This is what Lieberman clearly referred to on Block 9,” Berri said.

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Feb 05, 2018 12:52 UTC
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