BEIRUT — The American envoy Amos Hochstein, who supervises the indirect negotiations between Lebanon and Israel over their common maritime border, will visit Beirut at the end of next week, Deputy Parliament Speaker Elias Bou Saab announced Sunday to President Michel Aoun.
Earlier today, popular mobilizations took place across the Lebanese coastline to affirm the country's right to its offshore gas wealth; Israel also announced the start of a military exercise on its border with Lebanon, which will last until Tuesday evening.
"The president was contacted this afternoon by Elias Bou Saab, who informed him that he has been in contact with the American mediator Amos Hochstein about the delineation of the maritime border, and that the latter indicated he will visit Lebanon at the end of next week, in order to continue negotiations with the Lebanese parties," the Presidential Palace announced Sunday. The head of state also told Bou Saab that "most of the information recently circulated about the mission of Hochstein was inaccurate," some reporting that he would come to Beirut on Sept. 7 precisely, in order to transmit the Israeli response to the Lebanese proposal on the border line.
Bou Saab also assured that he had heard from the American mediator "that efforts are currently underway to reach a fair agreement, which is the top priority" for Washington on this issue.
Last Wednesday, Washington had asserted that a "lasting compromise is possible" and that the issue is a "key priority" of US President Joe Biden's administration.
This comes after Israel deployed a floating production ship to the Karish gas field on June 5, located in the disputed waters between Lebanon and Israel, and causing tensions between the two countries to flare. The incident was followed by a resumption of the indirect maritime border negotiations between the two countries after they had been suspended for months.