Senior Biden official warns against delaying ratification of Israel-Lebanon accord

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

A senior Biden administration official warns Israel and Lebanon against waiting to ratify the US-brokered maritime agreement, as the Israeli government comes under pressure from opposition lawmakers who argue that the deal should not be signed by a caretaker cabinet with an election just weeks away.

“No one can guarantee what the future holds, and therefore no one can guarantee that opportunities for the future of Israel, for the security of Israel and the economic prosperity of Lebanon will still be there at a different time,” the senior US official says.

He hints at optimism that the deal will indeed be seen through, telling reporters on a phone briefing that “the governments on both sides are aware of the political reality that they that they live in, and I have every expectation that this agreement is going to be signed and put into force [as early as possible].”

“When the opportunity is there, and there’s a pathway toward an agreement [the] momentum should be taken advantage of,” the senior official adds.

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