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oil and gasJune 15, 2022

Miqati to Hochstein: Lebanon needs to start oil drilling, holds on to its rights

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati stressed to U.S. envoy Amos Hochstein on Tuesday that 'Lebanon's higher interest requires starting oil drilling without giving up Lebanon's right to all its resources.'

Hochstein, a senior adviser for energy security at the U.S. State Department, had arrived in Beirut on Monday following an invitation by the Lebanese government. The invitation came after Israel set up a gas rig at its designated location at the Karish field, which Israel says is part of its U.N.-recognized exclusive economic zone. Lebanon insists it is in a disputed area.

Hochstein who had earlier on Tuesday met with President Michel Aoun, did not speak to reporters after his meetings with both Aoun and Miqati.

Miqati said he informed Hochstein of 'Lebanon's unified stance over the maritime border demarcation file,' and of Lebanon's keenness on maintaining the U.S. mediation.

The meeting was held in the presence of U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea, Deputy Speaker Elias Bou Saab, General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim and Presidency Director-General Antoine Choucair.