The next round of indirect negotiations between Lebanon and Israel over the maritime border demarcation has been postponed, Lebanese officials said Monday.
Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz confirmed the delay and said it had been agreed with the Americans that talks would be postponed for a few weeks.
The meeting had been originally set for Wednesday following talks that had taken place in November at the headquarters of the UN Interim Force in Naqoura, south of Lebanon.
Former US Ambassador to Algeria John Desrocher – who is mediating the talks – informed the Lebanese side of the delay, officials said. He will be holding talks with Lebanese officials in Beirut this week.
The talks began in October after both countries agreed to a US-mediated framework for negotiations aimed at ending a long-running border dispute.
Lebanon's delegation has pushed for an additional 1,430 square kilometers to be included in Lebanese territory on top of the already disputed 860 square kilometer area. Both sides say the latter is in their respective Exclusive Economic Zone and brings what is now an Israeli gas field into disputed territory.
Currently, Lebanon also disputes 13 land points along the UN-demarcated land border, known as the “Blue Line.”
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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