June 5, 2018 / 7:37 AM / in 2 months

Israeli minister: new ideas on table for ending Lebanon maritime dispute

JERUSALEM, June 5 (Reuters) - New ideas have been proposed in U.S. back-channel mediation of an Israeli-Lebanese maritime dispute that has complicated oil and gas exploration, Israel’s energy minister said, raising the prospect of at least a partial deal this year.

“There are some new ideas on the table. More than that I cannot discuss,” Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said in a Reuters interview.

“There is room for cautious optimism. But not beyond cautious,” Steinitz said. “I hope that in the coming months, or by the end of the year, we will manage to reach a solution or at least a partial solution to the dispute.”

But he added: “Nothing has been settled yet.” (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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