Middle East

Lebanon says Hezbollah drones ‘out of state's responsibility’

Hezbollah sent 3 unarmed drones for reconnaissance mission over disputed Karish field

Wassim Samih Seifeddine   | 04.07.2022
Lebanon says Hezbollah drones ‘out of state's responsibility’

BEIRUT, Lebanon 

Lebanon said Monday that Hezbollah’s move to fly drones into the disputed Karish gas field was out of the state’s responsibility. 

"Lebanon considers any act that falls outside the framework of the state's responsibility and the diplomatic track within which negotiations are taking place is unacceptable and exposes (Lebanon) to unnecessary risks," Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib told reporters following his meeting with Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati.

He reiterated Lebanon's support for the efforts of US mediator Amos Hochstein to reach an agreement that preserves Lebanese natural resources.

On Saturday, the Lebanese group Hezbollah said it had sent three unarmed drones into the Karish field for a "reconnaissance mission." The Israeli army, for its part, said it intercepted the drones in "its economic exclusive zone" near the borders with Lebanon.

Lebanon and Israel are engaged in a dispute over a maritime area that is 860 square kilometers (332 square miles), according to maps sent by both counties to the UN in 2011.

The area is rich in natural gas and oil. Five sessions of indirect negotiations were held between Lebanon and Israel under UN sponsorship and US mediation. The last round of talks was in May 2021 but it was stuck because of major differences.  

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara

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