Satterfield Resumes Oil Dispute Talks with Bassil after Meeting Israeli Officialsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
US Acting Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield arrived in Beirut on Wednesday coming from occupied Palestine, and held talks with Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil, the National News Agency reported.
Satterfield left the meeting at the foreign ministry without making a statement. But unnamed ministry sources said talks have focused on Lebanon's oil and land rights, assuring the US official will continue his “shuttle talks” between Lebanese and Israeli officials regarding the oil dispute.
Satterfield held talks with Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz “seeking to defuse an escalating oil and gas dispute with Lebanon,” reports said.
Last week Lebanon signed its first contract to drill for oil and gas in a pair of offshore zones, including one that Israel says belongs to it.
Lebanese officials have said the whole zone belongs to Lebanon while Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has insisted it is solidly in Israeli territory.
A report said Steinitz told Satterfield that "a diplomatic solution is preferable for both sides."
It added that the two agreed to meet again during the coming week.
Satterfield also held talks on the issue with top officials in Lebanon.