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US envoy conveys Israeli replies to Lebanon on demarcating border

BEIRUT, A senior US official on Tuesday conveyed to Lebanon Israeli replies to Lebanese proposals on demarcating the borders, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, David Satterfield, relayed the Israeli response “according to the Lebanese proposals that had been presented by President Michel Aoun on demarcating the sea and land borders,” the official statement said.

The statement said Satterfield held positive talks with Foreign Minister Jibran Bassil on the borders demarcation.

Although the official statement described the Lebanese-US discussions as positive, it did not elaborate how the American shuttle diplomacy has progressed.

It added that Satterfield would pursue his visits to Israel and Lebanon although “there are no basic obstacles for implementing the proposal.” The negotiations, it said, have reached final stages, amid discussions on the roles to be played by the United Nations, Lebanon and Israel, with American follow-up.

Satterfield, mediating between the two countries for final demarcation of the sea and lands, borders had held talks with President Michel Aoun, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri.

According to the Lebanese media, the United Nations-demarcated Blue Line, which currently separates Lebanon and Israel, contains at least 13 points that are disputed by the Lebanese government, while about 856 square kilometers of water are disputed.

Source: Kuwait News Agency