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The United States proposed three different ways of resolving a dispute between Lebanon and Israel over offshore borders, according to a classified proposal obtained by The Daily Star.The proposal gives three options for resolving the dispute.The first option is to establish buffer zones – zones in which no petroleum exploration or exploitation would occur without the consent of both governments – north and south of the maritime security line (referred to in the document as the MSL). The report does not specify the size of the buffer zones, except to say that the southern buffer zone would be smaller than Lebanon's full maritime claim, and also that the northern buffer zone would be "significantly smaller" than the southern buffer zone. It added that the U.S. government would give a letter of assurance to the Lebanese and Israeli governments confirming the buffer zones, and also confirming U.S. commitment to supporting negotiations of a "unitization agreement" of any future trans-MSL discovery.The proposal suggests that the Lebanese government issue licenses to the Unit Company for the northern zone while the Israeli government issues licenses to the Unit Company for the southern zone.
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