US sanctions on Hezbollah, allies will not stop despite Lebanon-Israel deal: Schenker

UNIFIL soldiers stand near a poster of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Speaker Nabih Berri, near the Lebanese-Israeli border, Aug. 7, 2020. (Reuters)

The United States will not stop issuing sanctions against Lebanese officials allied with Hezbollah despite Beirut announcing an agreement to begin discussing its maritime border with Israel, a senior US official said Thursday.

After Israel announced last week that an agreement to begin talks on the border dispute had been reached, Lebanon followed suit on Thursday.

Washington has expended significant diplomatic efforts to get the two sides to come to the table over their borders for years.

And despite US Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs David Schenker praising the Lebanese government for reaching the agreement, he said that doesn’t mean the US would not put the brakes on its maximum pressure campaign against Iran and its proxies.

The Iran-backed Hezbollah has been at the forefront of the sanctions with the US recently expanding sanctions against allies of the powerful Shia militant group.

As for the details of the talks, Schenker said UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jan Kubis would represent the UN while Lebanese army officials and experts would represent Lebanon. It is unclear who the Israeli officials will be at the talks, which will be held at a UN office in south Lebanon.

Talks are expected to begin Oct. 14.

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Last Update: Thursday, 01 October 2020 KSA 18:56 - GMT 15:56
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