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Lebanon welcomes US mediation in gas talks with Israel


Lebanese President Michel Aoun reaffirmed Lebanon’s sovereign rights to water and natural resources while welcoming the US mediation mission in negotiations on the delimitation and demarcation of maritime borders between Lebanon and Israel. This was reported by the Al-Yaum As-Sabiu news agency on June 14.

This morning at the presidential palace Baabda Aun received an American delegation led by a US special envoy Amos Hochsteinwho was accompanied by the US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy SheaChief Advisor for Maritime Boundary Negotiations Nadine Zaatardirector of transnational relations in the Middle East and North Africa, US NSC Lindsey Merrill and diplomat at the US Embassy in Lebanon Harald Olsen. Special Envoy Hochstein highly appreciated the response of the Lebanese leader, promising to present Beirut’s position to the Israeli side as part of his mediation mission for indirect negotiations between the parties on the delimitation and demarcation of the country’s southern maritime borders.

Recall that between Lebanon and Israel there are sharp contradictions and differences in the issue of maritime borders, which is explained by the presence of significant hydrocarbon deposits in the Mediterranean Sea. The current situation is complicated by Tel Aviv’s unilateral decision to start developing the disputed Karish field, which led to Beirut’s dissatisfaction: Hezbollah has already declared its readiness to oppose such Israeli “aggression”.

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