Mideast: U.S. envoy received in Beirut by President Aoun

To facilitate talks with Israel on maritime energy resources

14 June, 14:40

    (ANSAmed) - BEIRUT, JUNE 14 - US special envoy, Amos Hochstein, charged with facilitating direct talks between Lebanon and Israel for the division of maritime energy resources, was received on Tuesday morning by President Michel Aoun. Hochstein's visit to Lebanon, which started on Monday and wraps up on Tuesday night, comes at the request of authorities in Beirut, including Aoun, a close ally of the pro-Iranian Hezbollah hostile to Israel.

    Aoun and the outgoing Lebanese premier Najib Miqati over the past few days harshly condemned the start of preparatory activities for the exploration by Israel, of the natural gas site close to the waters disputed by the two countries.

    Hochstein is scheduled to meet on Tuesday in Beirut also with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who is also an ally of Hezbollah and who, for nearly a decade between 2010 and 2020, followed indirect negotiations with Israel, through the United States, for the division of energy resources at sea.

    Today, Hochstein will be able to listen to the Lebanese position regarding the maritime controversy with Israel: Aoun and Berri are aligned in claiming national sovereignty over a wider area of the sea compared to the terms recorded by Lebanon at the UN. In this way, both Aoun and Berri are offering to Hezbollah and its regional sponsors the possibility of raising the rhetoric against Israel, accused of carrying out an "aggression". Over the past few days, Hezbollah did not rule out the possibility of unleashing a new war against Israel, which for its part threatened the Lebanese Shiite movement of being able to conduct a destructive armed conflict on Lebanese soil.(ANSAmed).

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