Prime Minister Yair Lapid spoke a short while ago today (Tuesday, 11 October 2022), with the President of the United States, Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
President Biden began by congratulating Prime Minister Lapid on the historic agreement with Lebanon on a maritime boundary, after a decade of attempts.
President Biden told Prime Minister Lapid: “You are making history.”
The President thanked the entire Israeli team that took part in the talks, and expressed his appreciation for their trust and confidence.
The leaders discussed the importance of the agreement, which will ensure Israel’s security on its northern border and strengthen the Israeli and Lebanese economies.
Prime Minister Lapid thanked President Biden for his leadership and for America’s mediation of the maritime negotiations between Lebanon and the Israeli negotiating team. The Prime Minister expressed special appreciation for the American mediator, Amos Hochstein, for his intensive and effective work.
Additionally, Prime Minister Lapid thanked the American team, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Security Council, Brett McGurk.
President Biden emphasized to Prime Minister Lapid his commitment to Israel’s security and regional stability. The President also added that the two leaders’ ability to work together and reach this agreement is a testament to the strong and unbreakable bond between the two leaders themselves and between Israel and the United States.
The leaders agreed to remain in close and regular contact.
US President released a statement Tuesday afternoon announcing the maritime agreement.
"Today, I am pleased to announce a historic breakthrough in the Middle East. After months of mediation by the United States, the Governments of Israel and Lebanon have agreed to formally end their maritime boundary dispute and establish a permanent maritime boundary between them. I have just spoken with the Prime Minister of Israel, Yair Lapid, and the President of Lebanon, Michel Aoun, who confirmed the readiness of both governments to move forward with this agreement. I want to also thank President Emmanuel Macron of France and his government for their support in these negotiations," Biden said,
"Energy—particularly in the Eastern Mediterranean—should serve as the tool for cooperation, stability, security, and prosperity, not for conflict. The agreement announced by both governments today 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 for the world. It is now critical that all parties uphold their commitments and work towards implementation.
"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. And it promotes the interests of the United States and the American people in a more stable, prosperous, and integrated Middle East region, with reduced risks of new conflicts.
"I want to thank our diplomats and everyone across the U.S. government, past and present, who have worked tirelessly on this bipartisan issue throughout the years. Persistent U.S. diplomacy, paired with the openness of Israeli and Lebanese leaders to negotiate, consult, and ultimately choose what was in the best interests of their people, led to this breakthrough.
"I congratulate everyone involved," Biden concluded.