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Report: US mediator to give up if no Israel-Lebanon border deal reached soon

Then-US vice president Joe Biden (left) talks with State Department Special Envoy for International Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein during the Caribbean Energy Security Summit, at the State Department in Washington, DC, on January 26, 2015. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)
Then-US vice president Joe Biden (left) talks with State Department Special Envoy for International Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein during the Caribbean Energy Security Summit, at the State Department in Washington, DC, on January 26, 2015. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

The US mediator in Israel-Lebanon talks over the demarcation of their maritime border has said that if no deal is reached in the coming months, he will cease his involvement, according to the Walla news site.

The outlet cites senior Israeli sources with knowledge of the matter saying that Hochstein, visiting Israel today, said the window of opportunity to reach a deal in the coming months, before the Lebanese elections scheduled for March 2022.

After visiting Lebanon 10 days ago, Hochstein met Energy Minister Karine Elharrar and a series of officials in the energy, foreign affairs, and defense ministries.

Walla quotes an Israeli official saying that Hochstein has made it clear that he will not renew the direct talks held and halted earlier this year.

“[Hochstein] said he doesn’t intend to propose an offer that both sides will be happy with — it will be more of an offer both sides won’t be happy with,” the official is quoted as saying. “If, within a few months, he sees the sides aren’t closing in on a deal, he will leave the issue.”

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