US energy advisor expected in Beirut for Lebanon-Israel maritime talks

A senior US diplomat tasked with mediating a maritime border deal between Lebanon and Israel is expected in Beirut at the end of this month, sources familiar with his trip said.

Amos Hochstein, the US senior advisor for Energy Security, met with Israeli officials earlier this month when he accompanied President Joe Biden on his first trip to the region.

Israeli officials told Hochstein that they want a deal as soon as possible, two Israeli officials told Axios after the US diplomat met with them.

Sources said that Hochstein is expected in Beirut on July 31. Depending on his meetings, he may shuttle back and forth between Lebanon and Israel with the hopes of reaching a deal that would allow both countries to explore potential natural gas reserves in their respective waters.

Hochstein was last in Beirut in June.

The State Department referred Al Arabiya English to its spokesman’s comments last week. Ned Price told reporters that there was no travel to announce, but he added that Hochstein would continue to work to move a deal forward.

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