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יום שני 19.08.2019
שיחות על הגבול הימי בין ישראל ולבנון
02/06/2019 19:54

Beirut, Lebanon - As the United States and Iran face off against each other across the Gulf, the often-turbulent waters of the eastern Mediterranean were less choppy this week.

Lebanon, home to the Iran-backed armed group and political movement Hezbollah, agreed last week to a process to resolve a maritime dispute with Israel on the condition that negotiations are held under the watch of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Israel, historically critical of UNIFIL's role in Lebanon, reluctantly accepted the condition as long as the US, its main international ally, was also involved. The details of the precise role to be played by UNIFIL and the US are still being worked out, Lebanese officials said.
 
The US has been mediating between Israel and Lebanon over the issue since 2011 and the latest breakthrough is being attributed to the shuttle diplomacy of David Satterfield, US undersecretary for the near east.
 
Once the framework for the talks is set, Lebanon and Israel will sit down to present their respective claims over 860sq km of disputed waters rich in hydrocarbons, off the shore of south Lebanon. At least two gas fields have been discovered on the patch in recent years.
 
Lebanon has long held concerns that Israel may obstruct it from exploring the disputed blocks. Beirut has already awarded its first contracts for exploration to a consortium of French, Italian and Russian companies that are expected to start work later this year.
 
Eljazeera | Anchal Vohra | 1/6/19

 


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