Lebanon, Israel commit to continue maritime border negotiations early December

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Lebanon and Israel held on Wednesday another negotiation session for resolving the ongoing maritime border dispute, the two committed to continue negotiation early December.

According to a statement released jointly by the Government of the US and the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, representatives from the governments of Israel and Lebanon held productive talks.

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“We remain hopeful that these negotiations will lead to a long-awaited resolution. The parties committed to continuing negotiations in early December.”, the statement added.

Israel and Lebanon resumed US-mediated talks on Wednesday over their disputed Mediterranean Sea border, that has held up hydrocarbon exploration in the potentially gas-rich area, a source and Lebanon’s state news agency said.

The longtime foes held three rounds of talks last month hosted by the United Nations at a peacekeeper base in southern Lebanon which the UN and the United States had described as “productive”.

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But sources had said that gaps between the sides remain large after they each presented contrasting maps outlining proposed borders that actually increased the size of the disputed area.

Israel already pumps gas from huge offshore fields but Lebanon, which has yet to find commercial gas reserves in its own waters, is desperate for cash from foreign donors as it faces the worst economic crisis since its 1975-1990 civil war.

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