Talks on the Israel-Lebanon maritime border due to start Wednesday

The first formal talks on resolving a dispute between Israel and Lebanon on their border in their energy-rich offshore waters of the Mediterranean begin on Wednesday at UNIFIL’s Naqoura headquarters. Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz warned that the outlook should be realistic and mostly depended on the Lebanese side coming to the table with good will for a deal. This was not the beginning of a peace process that led to the normalization with UAE and Bahrain relations with Israel, he noted, just an attempt to mark out the division of a narrow (860sq. km) strip of water that overlaps the Economic Zones of Israel and Lebanon.. Nevertheless, this was the first time in more than two decades that Israel and Lebanon have been talking, albeit though UN and American mediators – all sitting in the same room 200 meters inside the Lebanese border.

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