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US official discusses Beirut dispute resolution with Israel and Aoun confirms Lebanon's adherence to sovereignty

US official discusses Beirut dispute resolution with Israel and Aoun confirms Lebanon's adherence to sovereignty

A senior US official in Beirut met with the Lebanese leadership in an effort to give new impetus to resolving the maritime dispute between Lebanon and Israel.

On the second day of his visit to Lebanon, US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield met Wednesday with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Speaker Nabih Berri and Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil.

According to the official national agency for media, Aoun told the US diplomat during the meeting that Lebanon's sovereignty over land, sea and air, and that the demarcation of the land and sea borders of the south promotes stability along the border, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

The Lebanese President also called on the United States to contribute to the achievement of this goal, "particularly in respect of respect for Lebanon's land and maritime borders and the right to prospect for oil and gas in the exclusive economic zone" .

The Assistant Secretary of State also met with Speaker Berri and discussed current developments in Lebanon and the region, focusing on the demarcation of maritime and land borders, in an atmosphere of "openness and positive", according to the National Agency.

The issue of border demarcation also led to the meeting between Satterfield and Basil, where the Lebanese foreign minister presented a series of exits to preserve Lebanon's full land and maritime rights and achieve its national interest, according to the National Agency.

The agency said Bassil "will complete his consultations in Lebanon and internationally to reach a final solution to open the door to Lebanon's investment in energy fields."

The US diplomat also held a second meeting during his visit to Prime Minister Saad Hariri to discuss the issues he discussed yesterday. He discussed developments in the region, focusing on border demarcation as well.

Satterfield's visit to Beirut comes a week after Aoun handed over a letter to US Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard, including a "unified Lebanese position" on US-demarcated border demarcation.

Last month, the Speaker of the House of Representatives expressed the willingness of the Lebanese authorities to demarcate the maritime border with Israel by establishing an exclusive economic zone, similar to the demarcation of the land border between the two parties.

Lebanon is fighting with Israel on the border in an 860-square-kilometer maritime area. Beirut accused Tel Aviv a few weeks ago of granting a license to explore oil and gas near the disputed maritime border, saying it was "a threat of depleting Lebanon's oil wealth."

Source: Agencies

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