US Envoy in Yerushalayim Unexpectedly Amid Lebanon Maritime Talks

By Hamodia Staff

U.S. Envoy for Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein, meets with Outgoing Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, in Beirut, Lebanon, June 14 (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

YERUSHALAYIM — There was a sign that tales of a breakthrough in negotiations over the maritime dispute with Lebanon might be coming true on Tuesday, as U.S. envoy Amos Hochstein arrived in Israel unexpectedly after talks in Beirut, according to media reports.

Walla news, the first to report it, cited two unnamed sources who said Hochstein would be meeting with Israeli officials in the Energy Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and the National Security Council.

He had already met with Prime Minister Yair Lapid, according to Kan news.

Hochstein has been endeavoring for more than a year to mediate the counterclaims concerning the potentially gas-rich offshore areas. The situation has escalated in recent months after Israel moved a production vessel near the Karish offshore gas field, which is partly claimed by Lebanon, and Hezbollah threatened to intervene with violence.

The envoy arrived in Beirut on Sunday and met with senior Lebanese officials, but his official itinerary did not include Israel.

On Sunday, Lebanese Energy Minister Walid Fayyad reportedly said that Hochstein brought “a new proposal to the Lebanese officials, and he told me that it was positive and denied any rumors about joint excavations between Lebanon and Israel.”

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