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

Israel to resume U.S.-brokered Lebanon maritime border talks

Energy minister Elharrar set to meet with Washington mediator next week to rekindle defunct efforts to settle longstanding maritime dispute between Jerusalem and Beirut

Reuters, Ynet |
Published: 01.26.22, 20:06
U.S.-brokered negotiations to demarcate the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon will resume next week, the Energy Ministry said on Wednesday.
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  • Lebanon and Israel started indirect negotiations through U.S. mediation in 2020 at a UN peacekeeping base in Lebanon's Naqoura, but the talks have stalled several times — effectively halting any exploration of the potentially gas-rich area.
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    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)
    Israel is willing to continue negotiations, the Energy Ministry said, adding that Energy Minister Karine Elharrar would meet U.S. envoy Amos Hochstein next week as part of efforts to settle the dispute.
    Lebanese President Michel Aoun also expressed his country's willingness to attempt and settle the longtime maritime dispute.
    "Lebanon is ready to resume negotiating the demarcation of the southern maritime borders, in a way that preserves the rights and sovereignty of the Lebanese state," Aoun said.
    Lebanon, which has yet to find commercial gas reserves in its own waters, is currently grappling with its worst-ever financial crisis, which effectively left it reliant on foreign donors such as Iran amidst a deepening economic meltdown.
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    A map showing the territorial maritime dispute between Israel and Lebanon
    A map showing the territorial maritime dispute between Israel and Lebanon
    A map showing the territorial maritime dispute between Israel and Lebanon
    (Photo: Shutterstock)
    Hochstein last year claimed that resolving the border issue would help alleviate Lebanon's power shortage and economical troubles by allowing it to develop its offshore gas resources.
    Israel already pumps gas from several huge offshore fields.
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