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Lebanese politician criticises 'death' of demarcation talks with Israel

Lebanese Druze leader and Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) chairman Walid Jumblatt speaks to the press after his meeting with the French President at the Elysee Palace in Paris on 30 June 2014. [DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP via Getty Images]
Lebanese Druze leader and Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) chairman Walid Jumblatt in Paris on 30 June 2014 [DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images]

Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt has asked why the UN-sponsored talks between Lebanon and Israel on maritime border demarcation around potentially oil- and gas-rich areas have stopped.

Jumblatt heads the Progressive Socialist Party of Lebanon. He wrote on Twitter that he was surprised by "the death of demarcation" after Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri has been working on the negotiations for ten years, and had succeeded in providing a glimmer of hope for the Lebanese economy.

The first round of indirect talks on maritime border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel kicked off on 14 October last year, with US mediation and UN sponsorship. The talks aimed to resolve disagreements that hindered exploration for oil and gas in the area off the Lebanese and Israeli coasts.

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