U.S. envoy Amos Hochstein is leaning toward cancelling a visit to Beirut to receive the Lebanese response on his proposal regarding the demarcation of the maritime border with Israel, al-Akhbar newspaper said.
The daily said Thursday that Hochstein has asked Lebanese senior leaders to discuss their future proposals, if any, with the U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea.
Last week, President Michel Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Najib Miqati had called on the U.S. to “continue its efforts for the resumption of demarcation talks, in a manner that would preserve Lebanon’s interests,” after media reports had said there is a Lebanese inclination toward rejecting Hochstein’s proposal.
Israel and Lebanon had resumed negotiations over their disputed maritime border in 2020 but the process was stalled as Beirut asked the United Nations to modify the map used in the talks.
Lebanese politicians hope today that commercially viable hydrocarbon resources off Lebanon’s coast could help lift the debt-ridden country out of its financial crisis branded by the World Bank as one of the planet’s worst in modern times, while Israelis are pushing for speeding up the negotiations to start drilling for gas in the disputed Karish field.