BEIRUT/CAIRO (Reuters) – Lebanese President Michel Aoun has received a letter from U.S. mediator Amos Hochstein with plans to delimit the maritime border with Israel, the president’s office said on Twitter on Saturday.
Lebanon and Israel are involved in US-brokered talks that will help determine which country owns oil and gas resources, and delineate a shared maritime boundary that will pave the way for exploration.
Hochstein has been traveling between Lebanon and Israel – hostile nations with a history of conflict – in an attempt to forge a compromise.
The head of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah has warned against Israeli exploration and extraction in the disputed waters, saying receiving the letter is a “very important step”.
The next few days will be crucial, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised address.
Lebanese officials have requested a written version of the proposal before giving a final answer, a political source with knowledge of the negotiations said.
A deal could defuse a potential source of conflict between Israel and heavily armed Hezbollah.
(By Enas Alashrey, Laila Bassam and Modas Mohammed)
((São Paulo Newsroom translation)
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