DUBAI (Reuters) -Lebanon expects a written offer from U.S. mediator Amos Hochstein concerning the demarcation of a maritime border with Israel by the end of the week, Lebanon’s presidency tweeted on Monday.
Lebanon’s deputy speaker of parliament Elias Bou Saab met with Hochstein last week during a visit to New York and briefed President Michel Aoun on the outcome, the presidency added.
A U.S. embassy official told Reuters that Hochstein was continuing “his robust engagement to bring the maritime boundary discussions to a close”.
“We continue to narrow the gaps between the parties and believe a lasting compromise is possible,” the official said.
Hochstein has been shuttling between Lebanon and Israel – enemy states with a history of conflict – in a bid to forge a compromise over the maritime boundary that would allow both to explore for offshore energy reserves.
A deal could defuse a potential source of conflict between Israel and the heavily armed, Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah, which has warned against any Israeli exploration and extraction in the disputed waters.
(Reporting by Moataz Mohamed and Omar Fahmy in Cairo and Timour Azhari in Beirut; Writing by Lina Najem/Tom Perry; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel, Ed Osmond, Peter Graff)