13:39 GMT30 March 2020
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    BEIRUT (Sputnik) - Lebanese President Michel Aoun said Wednesday that statements made by Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman claiming that the disputed offshore gas field in the eastern Mediterranean belongs to Israel poses a threat to Lebanon.

    Earlier in the day, Lieberman said at a news conference that the gas field Block 9 that has been put up for tender by Lebanon and is expected to be developed by an international consortium of energy companies, was Israel's "by all standards."

    "Lieberman's statements on Block 9 pose a direct threat to Lebanon and its sovereignty in the territorial waters," Aoun said, as quoted by the LBC news channel.

    Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri called Lieberman's statements "an unprecedented provocation," while the country's Energy Ministry said that Lebanon would mobilize its efforts for the protection of its oil and gas activity.

    In December, the Lebanese government approved provisions for the right to explore two energy blocks, namely Block 4 and Block 9, in Lebanon to the consortium of Russia's Novatek natural gas producer with France’s Total and Italy’s Eni.

    READ MORE: Lebanese MP: Russia's Novatek Will Protect Lebanon's Oil From Israel

    Lebanon, together with Israel, Cyprus, and Egypt, sits on the Levant Basin in the eastern Mediterranean, where new gas fields have been revealed in 2009. Lebanon and Israel have been for ages involved in a territorial dispute over a triangle of maritime territory claimed by Israel.


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    offshore, oil field, oil and gas, Lebanon, Israel
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