BEIRUT (AA) – Lebanese group Hezbollah has accused the United States of seeking to normalize ties between Israel and Lebanon.
The accusation comes amid indirect talks between Beirut and Tel Aviv to demarcate the maritime border between the two countries.
“The demarcation of maritime border is the responsibility of the state, but what we are worried about is attempts to use the issue for talks with the Israeli side,” Hezbollah lawmaker Mohammad Raad told a rally in southern Lebanon.
“US envoy Amos Hochstein is trying to promote this through his proposals,” he added.
On Saturday, the Lebanese government formed an 8-member committee to review a proposal submitted by Hochstein for maritime border demarcation with Israel.
According to local media, the US envoy suggests that Lebanon takes control of Line 23 in the disputed maritime area and joint management of fields between Israel and Lebanon via French and American energy companies.
Lebanon and Israel are in a dispute about a maritime area that is 860 square kilometers (332 square miles), according to maps sent by both counties to the UN in 2011.
The area is rich in natural gas and oil. Five sessions were held between Lebanon and Israel under UN sponsorship and US mediation. The last round of talks was in May but it was stuck because of major differences.