Lebanon's Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil, explains on the map about the offshore block 9 which Israel claims, during an interview with the Associated Press at his office, in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
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Tension between President Michel Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri deescalated Thursday after the two broke the ice in a phone call to discuss recent Israeli threats on Lebanon's oil exploration projects. After the crisis between the two reached a new level this week, Aoun and Berri agreed in a phone call to talks next week to discuss measures Lebanon should take in light of Israeli comments on oil and gas exploration in south Lebanon's Block 9 . The two officials agreed to meet next week to discuss the Israeli threats after Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman Wednesday described a Lebanese offshore oil and gas exploration tender in an offshore block that is partly in disputed territory on the countries' maritime border as "very provocative".Abi Khalil said the three companies would begin drilling in 2019 and depending on what they find, the country would put forward more blocks for oil companies to bid for.
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