US envoy in Beirut to discuss Lebanon-Israel dispute

Amos Hochstein expected in Lebanese capital on Monday

13 June, 11:56

    (ANSAmed) - BEIRUT, 13 GIU - US envoy Amos Hochstein is expected to arrive in Beirut on Monday, tasked with mediating between Lebanon and Israel to draw up the maritime border between the two countries for the dividing up of energy resources off the coasts of the two countries.

    Lebanon and Israel have been at war since their official creation as independent states over 70 years ago.

    In recent days, the Lebanese armed movement Hezbollah, an ally of Iran, threatened to launch a war against Israel due to alleged violations of its maritime sovereignty.

    As reported in recent days by the US State Department, Hochstein will be in Beirut on Monday and Tuesday to meet with Lebanese government officials after last week they decried "Israeli aggression" against Lebanon's "energy sovereignty".

    An offshore platform in recent days began preparatory works for Israeli drilling for natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean ion an area that Lebanon claims as its.

    In the direct talks between the two countries, mediated by Hochstein, Lebanon had initially made requests on the basis of claims officially sent to the UN.

    Later, Lebanese president Michel Aoun, an ally of Hezbollah, changed the negotiation terms and demanded a broader stretch of the sea.

    This demand has not yet been officially registered with the UN.

    This was, however, enough to provide a chance for Hezbollah to raise anti-Israeli rhetoric again amid the deterioration of the economic situation across the entire country, with Lebanon struggling for the past three years with the worst financial crisis in its history. (ANSAmed).

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