Netanyahu: Maritime border talks with Lebanon could eventually lead to peace

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Israeli PM calls on Beirut to continue negotiations in what could ‘mark first step towards peace’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a surprising statement on Thursday, saying that talks between Jerusalem and Beirut over their disputed maritime border could eventually lead to a peace deal.

In a speech delivered to the Knesset (Israel Parliament), which convened to approve the landmark peace treaty with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Netanyahu asserted that as long as Hezbollah terrorist group “controls Lebanon, there can be no real peace with this country.”

He further stressed that the first negotiations between Israel and Lebanon in 30 years represent “enormous potential and economic importance, both for them and for us.

“I call on the Lebanese government to continue these talks and maybe this will mark the first step towards the achievement of peace,” the Israeli premier said.

“Peace is made with those who have ceased to be enemies. Peace is made with those who really desire it and who no longer want to annihilate you,” he concluded.

The two Middle Eastern neighboring states, which are formally still at war, initiated on Wednesday unprecedented talks — mediated by Washington and the United Nations — to come to an agreement over a maritime border dispute.

Read More: I24