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Lebanese Speaker’s Office: Negotiations with Israel are Not Direct

Lebanese Speaker’s Office: Negotiations with Israel are Not Direct

Tuesday, 22 September, 2020 - 05:15
A view of the platform of the Leviathan natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea is pictured from the Israeli northern coastal city of Caesarea on December 19, 2019. (Getty Images)

Speaker Nabih Berri’s press office clarified on Monday that Lebanese negotiations with Israel over maritime borders were taking place through an American mediation and the United Nations.

The negotiations are not direct, it said in response to a report by Asharq Al-Awsat on Monday that said Israel expects to hold direct negotiations with Lebanon over offshore gas resources.

The speaker’s office added that US Assistant Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs David Schenker’s efforts to demarcate the land and maritime borders were in response to a Lebanese request for Washington to play the role of mediator to resolve this crisis.

Asharq Al-Awsat had on Monday reported Israeli and political sources as telling Israel’s Walla website that Schenker has been shuttling between Lebanon and Israel for several months as part of efforts led by US President Donald Trump’s administration to push the two sides to direct negotiations on gas reserves in the Mediterranean.

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