Amos Hochstein, the US mediator in the indirect negotiation process to demarcate the border between Lebanon and Israel, said that the talks, which he hopes to revive, should be completed within a short period if they are to succeed.
Hochstein added, during his visit to Beirut, that the holding of indirect talks last year between the two parties in the presence of the United States and the United Nations was an important turning point, but it is not yet clear whether the time has come to resume negotiations.
“Maybe there should be some form of shuttle diplomacy first in order to assess the positions of the parties to determine if there is room for negotiation, and then return to Naqoura and complete the negotiations,” he said.
Lebanon and Israel began US-brokered talks in October 2020 at a UN peacekeeping base in the Lebanese city of Naqoura.
The maritime border dispute has hampered exploration in the potentially gas-rich area, but talks have since stalled. Hochstein said in an interview that he hoped the talks would not take long.
“I think we’ve learned in this kind of effort that if it takes too long, it’s not going to happen,” he added. “So we need to focus and move quickly,” he added.