US Embassy in Beirut stated on August 30,2023: “Senior Advisor to President Biden Amos Hochstein will travel to Lebanon August 30-31 to follow-up on the historic October 2022 Maritime Boundary Agreement. Senior Advisor Hochstein will also discuss areas of mutual and regional concern.”

A top US envoy will arrive in Beirut on Wednesday for meetings with senior Lebanese officials aimed at de-escalating tensions on the country’s border with Israel that have risen in recent months.

Deputy Parliament Speaker Elias Bou Saab announced that Hochstein will meet with Speaker Nabih Berri, Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, and Army Commander Joseph Aoun to accompany the start of exploration activities in Block 9 and gas extraction. He will also conduct a rare visit by a US official to Lebanon’s southern border to examine the UN Interim Force In Lebanon’s presence there.

Hochstein is also slated to tour a natural gas drilling rig that recently arrived off of the Lebanese coast. Hochstein brokered an agreement between Israel and Lebanon on behalf of the US last year that for the first time drew an internationally recognized maritime boundary between the two countries.

The second goal of his visit is to work on the file of solidifying the seven points pending in the demarcation of the land borders. He will also visit the occupied territories to facilitate the work of the technical committee under the supervision of the army.

In this context, Bou Saab stated that Lebanon’s position is clear that point B1 has been settled since 1923, and he hopes that a solution for the unresolved land points will be achieved, similar to the success in demarcating the maritime borders.

Furthermore, Bou Saab noted that the US envoy will assist in the Egyptian gas issue. The US administration will provide its response to the World Bank at the beginning of September regarding the Egyptian gas loan to Lebanon. This comes after the encouraging breakthrough in Lebanon’s electricity and tax collection improvements, which has brought hope for increased hours of power supply.


Source: LBCI, US Embassy in Beirut