Lebanon, Israel close to framework for land-sea border talks

May 28, 2019
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U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield, who is attempting to mediate a border dispute between Lebanon and Israel, arrives to his meeting with Lebanese Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil at the Lebanese foreign ministry in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, May 28, 2019. Israel says it's willing to engage in U.S.-mediated talks with Lebanon to resolve a border dispute over a sliver of the Mediterranean Sea seen as rich with energy resources. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

BEIRUT (AP) — The Lebanese Foreign Ministry says Lebanon and Israel are close to establishing a framework for negotiations on demarcating the Lebanese-Israeli land and maritime borders.

In a statement, it says the form of negotiations to be held under United Nations auspices and the role of each of the concerned parties is still being worked out. The purported negotiations are to be overseen by Washington, which has been mediating between the two Mideast nations.

The statement came after a meeting Tuesday between Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and U.S. Acting Secretary of State David Satterfield. He has been shuttling between the two countries to mediate in the border dispute.

The Foreign Ministry said Satterfield conveyed Israel’s response to the Lebanese proposals and that the atmosphere was “positive.”

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