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Lebanon wants Israel border deal in 'reasonable time': army

Lebanon said it will secure a border deal with Israel [Getty]

Date of publication: 14 October, 2020

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Lebanon hopes to resolve a maritime border dispute with Israel within a "reasonable time", its army said.

Lebanon hopes to resolve a maritime border dispute with Israel within a "reasonable time", its delegation head said at a first round of talks on Wednesday.

The unprecedented talks, which were held at a UN peacekeeping base in the Lebanese border town of Naqura, mark a "first step in the thousand-mile march towards the demarcation" of the maritime frontier, Brigadier General Bassam Yassin said during the inaugural session, according to an army statement.

"Based on the higher interests of our country, we are looking to achieve a pace of negotiations that would allow us to conclude this dossier within reasonable time."

Wednesday's talks, which lasted for around one hour, came at a sensitive time as Lebanon, battered by multiple crises, hopes to continue exploring for oil and gas in a part of the Mediterranean also claimed by Israel.

The session was held under the auspices of the United Nations and the United States.

Yassin praised US efforts to "help establish a positive and constructive atmosphere" during the talks.

He also lauded the United Nations, saying he hopes it will exert "a fundamental and effective effort to organise the mechanism of talks and (secure) a smooth negotiation process."

A second round of talks is set for October 28.

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