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WASHINGTON – The United States on Thursday welcomed an agreement between Israel and Lebanon on a framework to launch U.S.-mediated talks aimed at resolving a long-running maritime border dispute.

One study in 2008 pointed out that the Lebanese government would bring a return of almost $8 billion annually from first oil or gas discovery to the next 20 years,

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the discussions between the two countries, which are still in a formal state of war, “have the potential to yield greater stability, security, and prosperity for Lebanese and Israeli citizens alike.”

Pompeo issued his statement after Israeli and Lebanese officials announced agreement on the framework for negotiations over maritime issues. The two countries have differences over natural gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean.

(Reuters)

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