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U.S. welcomes Israel-Lebanon agreement on framework for maritime border talks

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attends the Mining, Agriculture, and Construction (MAC) Protocol Signing Ceremony, at Villa San Sebastiano, in Rome, Italy, October 1, 2020. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane/Pool

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - 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.

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.

Reporting By Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama