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Lebanon, Israel Agree to Hold Negotiations to Demarcate Maritime Border

Lebanon, Israel Agree to Hold Negotiations to Demarcate Maritime Border

Saturday, 26 September, 2020 - 11:45
Oil drilling ship Tungsten Explorer is seen docked at the block 4 area off the coast of the Lebanese coastal town of Safra, on February 25, 2020. (AFP)

A spokesman for Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, revealed that Israel and Lebanon have reached an agreement to resume negotiations on the demarcation of their shared maritime border.

The talks will take place immediately following the Sukkot holiday, which ends on October 10, and will be held at the headquarters of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in the southern Lebanese town of Naqoura, according a report by Israel’s Channel 12 on Friday.

The meeting will be attended by Assistant US Secretary of State for Near East Affairs David Schenker. Lebanon will be represented at the talks by Speaker Nabih Berri and officials from President Michel Aoun’s office and Steinitz will represent Israel.

Beirut has an unresolved maritime border dispute with Israel over a sea area of about 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) extending along the edge of three of Lebanon’s southern energy blocks.

Lebanon in 2018 licensed a consortium of Italy’s Eni, France’s Total and Russia’s Novatek to carry out the country’s first offshore energy exploration in two blocks. One of the blocks, Block 9, contains waters disputed with Israel.

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