US-mediated border talks between Lebanon, Israel resume

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US-mediated border talks between Lebanon, Israel resume

Post by limited » Wed May 05, 2021 3:04 am

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After a nearly six-month pause, Lebanon and Israel on Tuesday resumed indirect talks with U.S. mediation over their disputed maritime border. Disagreements among the Lebanese leadership over the small country's claims prevailed.

The talks ended after five hours with no official statement. Hours later, Lebanon's President Michel Aoun said his country's delegation should negotiate with no slotxo preconditions, calling on his delegates to uphold the previously agreed upon claim of 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) of the Mediterranean Sea.

Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz's office said late Tuesday that he “was updated by the delegation on the details of the meeting and made a consultation regarding the continuation of the process.”

Lebanon's delegation, made up of a mix of army officers and experts, had expanded the small country's claim in talks late last year, drawing up maps that push for an additional 1,430 square kilometers (550 square miles) for Lebanon. The talks then broke down, only to resume Tuesday.

Aoun's statement said U.S. mediator Ambassador John Desrocher had asked the Lebanese delegation to stick to the previously accepted demarcation. Desrocher arrived in Lebanon on Monday.

"President Aoun gave his instructions to the delegation not to go on negotiating with pre-conditions, but to adopt international law which would be the basis for guaranteeing continued negotiations to reach a fair and just resolution," Aoun said after meeting with the Lebanese delegation. , according to a statement from his office.

Both Lebanon and Israel, technically at war, claim about 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) of the Mediterranean Sea as being within their own exclusive economic zones.

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