U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday hailed a U.S.-brokered agreement between Israel and Lebanon to settle their maritime border dispute as “a historic breakthrough,” and urged all parties to stick to the deal.
Negotiations between the neighboring countries, which are still technically at war, had suffered repeated setbacks since their launch in 2020 but gained momentum in recent weeks with both sides eyeing revenue from potentially rich Mediterranean gas fields.
“It is now critical that all parties uphold their commitments and work towards implementation,” Biden said in a statement.
The agreement “will provide for the development of energy fields for the benefit of both countries, setting the stage for a more stable and prosperous region, and harnessing vital new energy resources,” he said.
“This agreement also protects Israel’s security and economic interests critical to promoting its regional integration. It provides Lebanon the space to begin its own exploitation of energy resources.”