US ‘remains ready’ to mediate Israel, Lebanon maritime talks: Pompeo

The United States “remains ready to mediate constructive negotiations” between the Israeli and Lebanese governments on their maritime boundary, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday.

Washington encourages “both sides to continue discussions based on the respective claims they have previously deposited at the United Nations,” Pompeo added.

Negotiations between the long-time foes began in October, with delegations meeting at a UN base to try to resolve a dispute about their maritime border.

Disagreement over the sea border has help up oil and gas exploration near the disputed line.

The Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah, which fought a month-long war with Israel in 2006, has said the talks are not a sign of peace-making with Israel. The group exercises significant influence in the state and backed the now caretaker government of Hassan Diab.

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