US envoy in Beirut for Lebanon-Israel talks resumption

Discussion on dividing up energy resources at sea halted

14 April, 17:17

    (ANSAMed) - BEIRUT, APRIL 14 - US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale arrived Wednesday morning in Beirut for talks with the highest institutional representatives for the resumption of talks between Lebanon and Israel for the drawing up of maritime borders.

    The issue is linked to the exploitation of energy reserves in the eastern Mediterranean off the Lebanese and Israeli coasts.

    Direct talks between Lebanese and Israel started in October and December with US mediation after ten years of indirect talks.

    The two countries had been officially in conflict since their creation as independent states over 70 years ago. Land borders have not been officially agreed on. The need to agree on a maritime border has been expressed several times by Lebanon since 2010 for reasons linked to the exploitation of energy resources.

    Lebanon is currently in a state of bankruptcy and suffering form its worst economic and political crisis in 30 years.

    The political class, which is strongly rejected to in the country itself, had sought in recent months to show interest - including through unprecedented talks in Israel - to find new energy resources.

    In recent days, the government in Beirut had begun to circulate a decree among its ministers with which it intended to extend its territorial request: this could increase rigidity by the US and Israel.

    However, the decree was blocked Tuesday night by Lebanese president Michl Aoun. (ANSAmed).

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