Report: Trump Administration Seeking Direct Israel-Lebanon Talks on Maritime Border
The Trump administration is once again seeking direct talks between Israel and Lebanon on setting their maritime border — which could lead to a settlement of their dispute over lucrative natural gas fields located off their shores underneath the Mediterranean Sea, Axios reported on Friday.
According to the Axios report, the administration would like for these negotiations to begin before the US presidential election in November.
No such talks have been held by Israel and Lebanon in three decades.
US Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs David Schenker visited Israel this week and discussed the matter with top officials there. Schenker was also recently in Lebanon.
An unnamed senior Israeli official told Axios, “There is progress. We see willingness on the Lebanese side to move and settle this dispute. We are ready to start talks immediately and we hope it can happen before the end of the year.”