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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat

Lebanon Receives US Mediator Proposals for Maritime Border with Israel

Lebanese President Michel Aoun meets with US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon October 1, 2022. (Dalati & Nohra)

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has received a letter from US mediator Amos Hochstein regarding proposals for the demarcation of a maritime border with Israel, the presidency said on Saturday on Twitter.

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.

Lebanon's deputy speaker of parliament Elias Bou Saab met with Hochstein last week during a visit to New York and briefed Aoun on the outcome.

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.

Lebanon and Israel, formally at war since 1948, have no diplomatic ties and are negotiating over an area measuring more than 860 square kilometers of the Mediterranean Sea that is believed to contain significant offshore gas reserves. Both countries have made claims to the territory.

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