Hochstein to return on Sep. 7 as Total Energies demands 'security guarantees'
U.S. mediator Amos Hochstein has postponed his visit to the region until September seven, al-Akhbar newspaper said Thursday.
The daily added that Hochstein has held an online meeting with Israeli officials after having met in Greece with Israeli delegates and the leadership of the Greek gas exploration company, Energean.
Al-Akhbar had earlier reported that Hochstein had discussed with an adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron the role of Total Energies, the French company which owns the gas exploration rights in Lebanon’s territorial waters.
On Thursday, the daily said that the mediator couldn't obtain Total Energies' full approval to start the gas extraction in Lebanon before a "clear" border deal is reached and before receiving security guarantees from all parties.
The report went on to say that Hochstein's plan is to postpone the demarcation deal until after the Israeli elections and the end of President Michel Aoun's term. "Israel would announce postponing the exploration in Karish and Total Energies would announce its willingness to proceed with the exploration in Lebanon," the report said.