US Energy Envoy, Amos Hochstein has said the gaps have narrowed between Lebanon and Israel regarding maritime border demarcation…reports Asian Lite News
“There is an opportunity today… We can reach an agreement, but we will not conclude it ourselves, as Lebanon and Israel must decide to do so,” Hochstein said on Tuesday in an interview with Lebanese MTV local TV channel.
The US official arrived in Beirut on Tuesday to look into ways to resume talks over Lebanese-Israeli maritime border demarcation, Xinhua news agency reported.
In 2020, Israel and Lebanon began US-mediated negotiations concerning their maritime border, but talks stalled when Lebanon expanded its demands, increasing the disputed area from 860 to 2,300 square km to include part of the Karish North field, initially claimed by Israel.
Sanctions on Lebanese firms
Recently, Israel had announced sanctions against three Lebanese companies that allegedly supplied materials to the Lebanese Hezbollah’s efforts to manufacture precision missiles.
Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz signed an administrative order to seize the assets of three Lebanese companies, Toufali, Moubayed and Barakat, his office said on Sunday in a statement.
These companies focus on producing machines, oils and ventilation systems required for Hezbollah’s production lines, including the precision missiles project, according to the statement.
The order does not have immediate implications but it will allow the international financial system to blacklist the companies, the office said, adding that the order “will make it very difficult for (the companies) to continue operating”.
The order is part of the Defence Minister’s efforts to elevate economic pressure on the precision missiles project in Lebanon, Xinhua news agency reported.
Israel and Hezbollah, two sworn enemies, had their last full-fledged war in 2006 which took place mostly on Lebanese soil.