Lebanon-Israel maritime talks to conclude in ‘days’, official says

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Maritime border talks between Lebanon and Israel that could help allocate oil and gas resources are close to concluding after around two years of negotiations, a top Lebanese security official said on Tuesday.

“We're talking about weeks - actually, days - to finish the delineation issue. I'm hopeful that the situation is positive,” the head of Lebanon's General Security agency Abbas Ibrahim told local channel Al-Jadeed.

Lebanon and Israel have been locked in US-mediated negotiations to delineate a shared maritime border that would help determine which oil and gas resources belong to which country and pave the way for more exploration.

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Ibrahim attended meetings last week with the US mediator Amos Hochstein, who said his hours-long visit to Beirut on Sept. 9 showed him that talks were making “very good progress.”

According to Israeli and Lebanese officials, an Israeli proposal would allow Lebanon to develop gas reserves in a disputed area in exchange for agreeing to a delineation line further north.

Lebanese officials have demanded a written version of the proposal before providing a final answer, a political source with knowledge of the talks said.

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