Report: Lebanon, Israel closer to negotiating border disputes

US official says progress has been made in efforts to negotiate maritime borders between Israel and Lebanon.

Gary Willig ,

Gas rig (archive)
Gas rig (archive)
Photo: Moshe Shai / Flash 90

Israel and Lebanon are getting "closer" to resolving their border disputes, a senior US official said Tuesday.

"I think we’re getting closer, and this will open the opportunity for both Lebanon and Israel to make some real progress ... on actually starting to negotiate on the borders," US Assistant Secretary of Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker told reporters in a phone briefing.

Schenker added that the administration was in the process of developing a framework for negotiations which should have been made “a long time ago.”

He refused to provide further details on the main hurdles to negotiations.

Lebanon and Israel remain in a state of war. In recent years disputes have erupted over the maritime borders of the two states due to the discovery of offshore gas fields. The US has repeatedly sought to mediate an agreement to finalize the borders between Israel and Lebanon.