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Oil & Gas 360 Publishers Note: This is great news that Lebanon and Israel are sitting down in talks mediated by the United States. We have been covering the wide spread conflict between countries in the Mediterranean over the vast natural gas deposits. We can hope that these talks act as a catalyst to bring others to the table to solve their disputes peacefully over the countries desire to be come energy independent.

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel will hold rare talks with Lebanon next month in an effort to resolve a longstanding maritime border dispute, an Israeli official said Saturday.

FILE – In this Jan. 14, 2019 file photo, Israel Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, in Cairo, Egypt. An Israeli official says, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, the country will hold rare talks with Lebanon next month in an effort to resolve a longstanding maritime border dispute. The official says Steinitz will lead the Israeli delegation in talks mediated by the United States. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

The official said Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz will lead the Israeli delegation in talks mediated by the United States. Representatives from the three countries are likely to speak by video conference because of the coronavirus pandemic, the official said.

The official requested anonymity in line with regulations. There was no immediate comment from Lebanon.

Israel and Lebanon have no diplomatic relations and are technically in a state of war. They each claim about 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) of the Mediterranean Sea as within their own exclusive economic zones.

Both are hoping to explore and develop new gas fields in the Mediterranean following a number of big finds in recent years. U.S. diplomats have been shuttling between the two countries and pushing for direct talks in recent years.

For the rest of the story: AP


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