According to US envoy Amos Hochstein, talks on the maritime border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel are nearing completion.
Hochstein delivered his remarks during a May Chidiac Foundation meeting in Beirut on Lebanon’s energy difficulties, which also included Lebanese Energy Minister Walid Fayad and Jordanian Energy Minister Saleh al-Kharabsheh.
Hochstein stated that there is a prospect for border demarcation talks because his efforts succeeded in bridging gaps to the point where an agreement may be reached.
He also stated that Lebanon must determine whether it wants a deal with Israel, which would allow for oil exploration and would bring foreign investment to the country.
Fayad emphasized the critical nature of moving forward with indirect negotiations based on international law.
Hochstein traveled to Beirut on Tuesday to meet with Lebanese officials to discuss the boundary demarcation negotiations.
Lebanon and Israel are at odds over an approximately 860-square-kilometer maritime territory, according to maps submitted to the United Nations by both countries in 2011.
The area is rich in natural gas and oil, and five sessions between Lebanon and Israel were held there under UN auspices and with US mediation.
The most recent round of talks took place in May but were stalled due to significant discrepancies between the two parties.