Join +750K new investors every month who copy stock picks from billionaire's portfoliosSign Up Free

Biden adviser sees path to Israel-Lebanon land border agreement

Published 05/30/2024, 01:02 PM
Updated 05/30/2024, 01:28 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. envoy Amos Hochstein speaks during a press conference after meeting with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri in Beirut, Lebanon March 4, 2024. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo
NG
-

By Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A land border agreement between Israel and Lebanon implemented in phases could dampen the simmering and deadly conflict between the two countries, a senior adviser to President Joe Biden said on Thursday.

Attacks between Israel and Iran-backed Hezbollah militants in Lebanon have led to worries of a deeper war across the Middle East. The two sides have been engaging in regular exchanges of missile fire and airstrikes since the start of the war in Gaza last October.

"I'm not expecting peace, everlasting peace, between Hezbollah and Israel," Amos Hochstein, a senior adviser to Biden for energy and investment, said in an interview with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

"But if we can reach a set of understandings and ... take away some of the impetus for conflict and establish for the first time ever, a recognized border between the two, I think that will go a long way."

Hochstein brokered an Israel-Lebanon maritime boundary agreement in late 2022, after two years of talks, that opened the way for both countries to develop natural gas and other resources in the region. Hochstein has been working on a demarcation of the land border between the two countries that could have a number of phases.

The first would be to allow for people in northern communities in Israel to return to their homes and those in southern communities in Lebanon to return to their homes, Hochstein said.

Part of that would require a strengthening of the Lebanese armed forces, including recruiting, training and equipping forces, Hochstein said without detailing how that would happen.

The second phase would involve an economic package for Lebanon, "making sure that the international community demonstrates to the Lebanese people that we're invested in them."

Lebanon's power grid, for example, only operates a few hours per day, at an enormous detriment to its economy. "We have a solution for that, we've put together a package that could create a solution that would take them to 12 hours of electricity in a ... short amount of time," Hochstein said.

The last phase would be a land boundary agreement between Lebanon and Israel, he said.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. envoy Amos Hochstein speaks during a press conference after meeting with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri in Beirut, Lebanon March 4, 2024. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo

If politics and the economy are stabilized in Lebanon, it could help reduce Iran's influence there, he said.

"The ability of outside forces of any consequence to influence Lebanon will diminish dramatically," Hochstein said.

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.