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Lebanon’s security forces pursuing smugglers, says interior minister

NAQURA: Lebanon and Israel resumed US-mediated negotiations over their disputed maritime border on Tuesday after a months-long hiatus, in efforts to clear the way for offshore oil and gas exploration.
The talks, between countries still technically at war, kicked off at the UN base in the town of Naqura in southern Lebanon, the National News Agency said.
Washington said Friday they were to be brokered by US diplomat John Desrocher, and called the resumption of talks “a positive step toward a long-awaited resolution.”
Lebanon and Israel last year took part in indirect US-brokered talks to discuss demarcation.
But those talks stalled after Lebanon demanded a larger area, including part of the Karish gas field, where Israel has given exploration rights to a Greek firm.
The talks last year were supposed to discuss a Lebanese demand for 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) of territory in the disputed maritime area, according to a map sent to the United Nations in 2011.
But Lebanon…

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