US official in Beirut to discuss border dispute with Israel

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US official in Beirut to discuss border dispute with Israel
U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield, left, speaks during his meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, May 14, 2019. Satterfield's visit comes a week after President Michel Aoun presented the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon with a "unified stance" regarding the demarcation of maritime border between Lebanon and Israel. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri has received a U.S. official as Washington mediates a maritime border dispute with Israel.

Acting Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield arrived Tuesday beginning a two-day visit to meet with Lebanese officials.

Satterfield’s visit comes a week after President Michel Aoun presented the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon with a “unified stance” regarding the demarcation of the maritime border between Lebanon and Israel.

Last month, Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri told the commander of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon, Maj. Gen. Stefano del Col, that Beirut is ready to establish the maritime border and special economic zone with Israel.

There are some 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) of waters claimed by the two countries, which are technically in a state of conflict.