Israel is ready to dialogue with Lebanon

Israel has expressed willingness to hold talks with US-mediated Lebanon to resolve a maritime border dispute affecting oil and gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean.

Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said in a statement after meeting with US envoy David Satterfield that such talks could achieve "the interests of the two countries in the development of natural gas reserves and oil" through the agreement on the border, according to Reuters.

There was no immediate comment from Lebanese or US officials.

Israel and Lebanon have been in a state of war theoretically since the first of 1948. They have long been at odds over demarcation, affecting a sea area of ​​about 860 square kilometers along three power concessions in southern Lebanon.

Israel also claims sovereignty over water in one of those concessions. Israel has been flourishing in the area of ​​gas extraction in the eastern Mediterranean for about ten years by discovering two large fields.

The dispute has pushed the two countries into a brinkmanship policy for years, saying they both protect their resources and warn against encroachment on them.



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