Monday, October 3, 2022

Israel and Lebanon near deal on maritime border dispute

Israel and Lebanon are edging towards a US-brokered agreement to defuse a dispute over their maritime border that has been a long-running source of tension between the two countries, officials said on Sunday.

The latest proposal, sent to the two countries by US envoy Amos Hochstein last week, would clear the way for the use of a disputed gasfield in the eastern Mediterranean Sea that Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hizbollah had threatened to attack if Israel brought it online before a border deal was reached.

Israel’s prime minister Yair Lapid, who faces elections next month, said the country was still “discussing the final details” of the proposal “so it is not yet possible to praise a done deal”. But he added that the draft “safeguards Israel’s full security-diplomatic interests, as well as our economic interests”.

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