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US mediator lands in Lebanon for renewed talks to resolve maritime dispute with Israel

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Lebanon's caretaker Energy Minister Walid Fayad (R) meets with US Senior Adviser for Energy Security Amos Hochstein in Beirut on July 31, 2022. (Anwar AMRO / AFP)
Lebanon's caretaker Energy Minister Walid Fayad (R) meets with US Senior Adviser for Energy Security Amos Hochstein in Beirut on July 31, 2022. (Anwar AMRO / AFP)

US energy envoy Amos Hochstein has landed in Beirut to hold talks with Lebanon’s Energy Minister Walid Fayyad over the disputed maritime border with Israel, the Lebanese Akhbar al-Yawm reports.

A video circulated on social media shows Fayyad — who also flew in — meeting Hochstein at the airport.

Israel and Lebanon, which do not have diplomatic relations, have been engaged in indirect talks mediated by the US over the rights to the Karish offshore gas field and to demarcate a contested maritime border between the two countries.

Israel maintains sovereignty over the Karish gas field and has been seeking to develop it as it tries to position itself as a natural gas supplier to Europe.

On Friday, Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib said he was more optimistic than ever about the negotiations.

The Lebanese Hezbollah terror group has threatened the field, releasing a video this morning saying the gas extraction infrastructure was “within range” of its weapons.

Another video circulated online purports to show Fayyad watching the Hezbollah video on his flight.

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