BEIRUT, Feb 12 (Bernama) -- Lebanon's Speaker Nabih Berri said the downing of an Israeli war plane by Syrian forces over the weekend will "create new rules of engagement" as he ruled out an escalation in the region, China's Xinhua news agency said quoting a report by al-Joumhouria daily Monday.
"What happened is larger than a battle and a little less than a war. It will create new balances and rules of engagement in the region. This event is the first of its kind in ten years. However, no escalation is expected. Things will end there, it will not develop into a comprehensive war."
As for the issue of Lebanon's oil and gas field, Berri said "Do not fear for our oil rights. The president of (energy giant) France's Total told me two days ago that the alliance of oil companies that will be drilling oil and gas will not be affected by the Israeli threats."
He added "the importance of approving the prospect of exploration in Block 9 oil field lies in the fact that we have maintained our oil rights in the face of Israeli ambitions. Lebanon is united in this regard'.
Israel struck what it said were Iranian targets inside Syria on Saturday in "large-scale" raids after an Israeli war plane crashed under fire from Syrian air defence.
On Israel's threats against Lebanon and the controversial Israeli wall on the border of both countries, Berri said a tripartite committee meeting would be held today in al-Naqoura to examine the Israeli response.
"Lebanon will adhere to the 1949 armistice line. The Blue Line imposed by UN Resolution 1701 is not the border of southern Lebanon. What applies to Lebanon's land border should also apply to the maritime border," said the speaker.....