January 31, 2018 / 5:28 PM / a year ago

Hezbollah vows to defend Lebanon's 'oil and gas rights'

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon’s Hezbollah pledged on Wednesday to confront any threats to the country’s “oil and gas rights” after Israeli comments urging firms not to bid on a Lebanese offshore energy tender.

“We confirm again our firm and honest position to decisively confront any assault on our oil and gas rights, and protect (Lebanon’s) wealth,” the Iran-backed Shi’ite political and military movement said in a statement.

Israel described as “very provocative” a Lebanese offshore oil and gas exploration tender in disputed territory on the countries’ maritime border. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said the comments were one of several “threatening messages” from Israel in recent days.

Reporting by Ellen Francis; Editing by Catherine Evans

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