Israel and Lebanon comply with resume border talks subsequent month

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© Reuters. An aircraft flies over a base for UN peacekeeping forces of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in Naqoura

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BEIRUT (Reuters) – Israel and Lebanon held “productive” talks on Thursday over their controversial Mediterranean border and agreed to meet again next month, the United Nations and United States said.

Thursday’s meeting was the third this month between longtime enemies mediated by the United States and hosted by the United Nations at a base in southern Lebanon.

The meetings are the culmination of three years of Washington diplomacy and follow a series of agreements in which three Arab nations – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan – agreed to forge full relations with Israel.

Lebanon has stated that its talks will be strictly limited to the controversial border, which is in an area with potentially gas-rich Mediterranean waters.

On Wednesday, the two sides presented contrasting maps of the proposed boundaries that actually enlarged the disputed area.

According to a Lebanese security source, the Lebanese proposal stretched further south than the border Lebanon had previously submitted to the United Nations. According to a source familiar with the discussions, the Israeli map has moved the border further north than Israel’s original position.

“Representatives of the governments of Israel and Lebanon had productive talks brokered by the United States and hosted by the office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon,” said the joint US-United Nations statement. “The parties have committed to resume negotiations next month.”

A senior Lebanese source said the two sides would meet again on November 11th.

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