Lebanon Expects US Mediator Offer for Maritime Border with Israel within Days
Lebanon expects a written offer from US mediator Amos Hochstein concerning the demarcation of a maritime border with Israel by the end of the week, Lebanon’s presidency tweeted on Monday.
Lebanon’s deputy speaker of parliament Elias Bou Saab met with Hochstein last week during a visit to New York and briefed President Michel Aoun on the outcome, the presidency added.
A US embassy official told Reuters that Hochstein was continuing “his robust engagement to bring the maritime boundary discussions to a close.”
“We continue to narrow the gaps between the parties and believe a lasting compromise is possible,” the official said.
Hochstein has been shuttling between Lebanon and Israel – enemy states with a history of conflict – in a bid to forge a compromise over the maritime boundary that would allow both to explore for offshore energy reserves.
A deal could defuse a potential source of conflict between Israel and the heavily armed, Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah, which has warned against any Israeli exploration and extraction in the disputed waters.