Lebanon dismisses U.S. proposals on disputed maritime border with Israel

BEIRUT, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) — U.S. acting assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield met Friday with Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Lebanese Speaker Nabih Berri and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, a day after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited the country.

His meeting with Hariri, accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richards, focused on the situation in the region and the bilateral ties between the two countries, a statement from Hariri’s media office said.

When meeing with Satterfield, Speaker Berri said the current proposals put forward by Tillerson to resolve border disputes with Israel were “unacceptable.”

“The disputed Lebanon-Israel maritime border should be drawn through the 1996 committee,” a statement from the speaker’s office citing Berri as saying.

However, few details were released about Bassil and Satterfield’s roughly 45-minute meeting.

The meetings come at a time when Israel has increased its rhetoric against Lebanon over claims to potential oil and gas reserves in the Mediterranean Sea and begun construction on a cement wall along the border with Lebanon.

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