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Lebanon Protests Israeli-Cypriot Energy Agreement

Lebanon’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Adnan Mansour has sent an official letter of protest to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressing Lebanon's objection to a bilateral Israeli-Cypriot agreement delineating an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between the country’s joint maritime Mediterranean frontiers.

Mansour wrote that the agreement bilateral between Israel and Cyprus "violates Lebanon's sovereign and economic rights and jeopardizes peace and security in the region," Beirut’s NOW Lebanon new agency reported.

Despite the 1982 United Nations Conv3ntion of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) providing maritime convention providing nations with a 200-mile Exclusive economic zone (EEZ) extending 200 miles offshore for exploiting maritime reserves, the issue is contested in such constrained waters as the eastern Mediterranean, where competing claims overlap, as between Greece and Turkey, Israel and the Palestinian Authority and Israel and Egypt.

Nor are such conflicting maritime claims limited to the eastern Mediterranean, as further east, conflicting claims to the potential hydrocarbon riches of the South China Sea have involved China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei in overlapping sovereignty claims to various rocky islet groupings.

In December 2010 Cyprus and Israel signed an agreement that defines their maritime borders and allows the two nations to proceed in searching for energy sources in the eastern Mediterranean. As Cyprus is a member of the European Union, the dispute with Lebanon has the potential to involve the EU in the disagreement.

By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com



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