Naquare, October 28: The second round of United States-mediated talks between Israel and Lebanon began on Wednesday to discuss the maritime dispute. The two-day talks were held at the headquarters of UN peacekeeping force UNIFIL in the Lebanese border town of Naqura. Lebanon has cleared that the talks will be technically aiming at demarcation and the discussions will not involve any political normalisation with Israel.

"Today's session is the first technical session," reported global news agency AFP quoting Laury Haytayan, a Lebanese energy expert as saying. Notably, both Lebanon and Israel do not have any diplomatic relations and are at the verge of war. Israel, Lebanon Begin UN-Mediated Talks at Naqura To Resolve Maritime Border Dispute.

Earlier this month, Lebanon agreed for talks with Israel so that it can go ahead with its offshore quest for oil and gas. Lebanon is facing the worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.  The talks are part of the US shuttle diplomacy. The talks between Israel and Lebanon are taking place also a month after Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (USE) established diplomatic relations with Israel. Lebanon Agrees For UN-Mediated Talks With Israel For Resolving Border Issues.

The first round of talks between the two countries took place on October 14. Both claim about 860 square km of the Mediterranean Sea. They also want to explore and develop new gas fields in the Mediterranean. The disputed region also includes an area on the edge of three Lebanese energy blocks.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Oct 28, 2020 03:56 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website