UN peacekeepers patrol the coast road near Naqura, the last town in Lebanon before the border with Israel
UN peacekeepers patrol the coast road near Naqura, the last town in Lebanon before the border with Israel
Photo: AFP
UN peacekeepers patrol the coast road near Naqura, the last town in Lebanon before the border with Israel

Israel, Lebanon resume talks on disputed maritime border

The last three rounds of negotiations between the longtime foeswere hosted by the United Nations at a peacekeeper base and are a culmination of three years of diplomacy by Washington

Reuters |
Published: 11.11.20 , 14:30
Israel and Lebanon resumed U.S.-mediated talks on Wednesday over their disputed Mediterranean Sea border, that has held up hydrocarbon exploration in the potentially gas-rich area, a source and Lebanon's state news agency said.
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  • The longtime foes held three rounds of talks last month hosted by the United Nations at a peacekeeper base in southern Lebanon which the U.N. and the United States had described as "productive".
    UN peacekeepers patrol the coast road near Naqura, the last town in Lebanon before the border with Israel UN peacekeepers patrol the coast road near Naqura, the last town in Lebanon before the border with Israel
    UN peacekeepers patrol the coast road near Naqura, the last town in Lebanon before the border with Israel
    (Photo: AFP)
    But sources had said that gaps between the sides remain large after they each presented contrasting maps outlining proposed borders that actually increased the size of the disputed area.
    רכבי או"ם חיילים מחסום דגל לבנון גבול ישראל לבנון פתיחת משא ומתן גבול מים כלכליים ראש הנקרהרכבי או"ם חיילים מחסום דגל לבנון גבול ישראל לבנון פתיחת משא ומתן גבול מים כלכליים ראש הנקרה
    A UN convoy at the Israel Lebanon border at the opening of bilateral talks on maritime borders
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Israel already pumps gas from huge offshore fields but Lebanon, which has yet to find commercial gas reserves in its own waters, is desperate for cash from foreign donors as it faces the worst economic crisis since its 1975-1990 civil war.
    Leviathan gas rig off the coast of IsraelLeviathan gas rig off the coast of Israel
    Leviathan gas rig off the coast of Israel
    (Photo: AFP)
    The next round of talks will be held in December, a joint statement from the United States and the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon said, as did Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz in a separate communique. They did not provide further details about Wednesday's discussions.
    The meetings are the culmination of three years of diplomacy by Washington, and follow a series of deals under which three Arab nations - the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan - agreed to establish full relations with Israel.
    Lebanon has said its talks are strictly limited to their disputed boundary.

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