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US envoy Hochstein optimism about Lebanese-Israeli maritime border deal

US envoy Hochstein optimism about Lebanese-Israeli maritime border deal

US envoy Hochstein optimism about Lebanese-Israeli maritime border deal

US envoy for Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein

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  • Lebanon and Israel are in the Levant Basin, where large subsea gas resources have been found since 2009.
  • In June, a ship arrived in a region Lebanon considers part of the disputed zone to construct an Israeli-built offshore field.
  • The territory in question, Karish, was entirely within its exclusive economic zone.
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BEIRUT: The US envoy, Amos Hochstein, mediating a maritime border issue between Lebanon and Israel said he remains positive and looks forward to returning to the region to make a “final arrangement.”

Amos Hochstein made the comments after meeting Lebanon’s top leaders at the presidential palace.

He is trying to cement a rare agreement between enemy governments to develop offshore energy resources.

Hochtein stated, “I remain optimistic that we can make continuous progress as we have over the last several weeks, and I look forward to being able to come back to the region to make the final arrangements.”

After a meeting with President Michel Aoun and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Najib Mikati gave a thumbs-up.

Lebanese deputy Elias Bou Saab said negotiations are proceedingwithin a short timeframe.”

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“The atmosphere was positive. Everyone came out of the meeting satisfied and, God willing, over the next few weeks we will begin to see results,” he told reporters.

Lebanese officials don’t know what Hochstein proposed.

A senior Israeli source told the International news agency on Sunday that Hochstein would propose a new Israeli proposal that “includes a solution that would allow the Lebanese to develop the gas reserves in the disputed area while preserving Israel’s commercial rights.”

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The Israeli official stated that this would involve Lebanese drilling.

In 2020, the US increased indirect mediation attempts between Israel and Lebanon.

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In June, a ship arrived in a region Lebanon considers part of the disputed zone to construct an Israeli field.

Israel claimed that the territory in question, Karish, was entirely within its exclusive economic zone.

Hezbollah, a heavily armed Lebanese faction supported by Iran, has warned of military action if Lebanon is blocked from exploiting its offshore rights.

But it will respect the Lebanese government’s choice.

Lebanon and Israel are in the Levant Basin, where large subsea gas resources have been found since 2009. Israel exports gas.

Lebanese efforts to produce energy have been hampered by political stagnation.

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