02:35 GMT +315 November 2018
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    A Spanish soldier of the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) guards a checkpoint in southern Lebanese village of Wazzani next to the divided village of Ghajar on border with Israel on January 5, 2016

    US Notified Lebanon of Israel's Readiness to Discuss Territorial Issue

    © AFP 2018 / MAHMOUD ZAYYAT
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    BEIRUT (Sputnik) - The United States notified Lebanon of Israel's readiness to discuss the dispute to define the land and sea borders between the two states, Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri told Sputnik.

    "A message was received from the US after a meeting with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu in Israel that they are ready for a final solution on land, as well as at sea," Berri said.

    He said Beirut is ready for talks with Israel to define borders and is waiting for a response from the United States, adding that the negotiations should continue in Naqoura under the UN auspices.

    In March 2017, the Lebanese government released a tender for exploring the area's reserves. The move has however triggered a dispute with Israel having its own territorial claims in the region.

    Earlier, Israeli Ambassador to Moscow Gary Koren told Sputnik that Tel Aviv was holding talks also with Russia and other parties about the situation around a disputed gas field in the eastern Mediterranean.

    However, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri emphasized during talks with US Secretary of State in February that his country has the right to explore and develop potential oil and gas reserves in its territorial waters.

    Israeli Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz said earlier that Tel Aviv was ready to resolve differences with Lebanon by diplomatic means.

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    Tags:
    land, dispute, sea, negotiations, border, Nabih Berri, Israel, lebanon
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