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Analysts are divided over the potential for U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's upcoming visit to Beirut to reap concrete results for Lebanon's oil and gas sector. Despite repeated Israeli threats, Lebanon last Friday signed its first offshore oil and gas exploration and production contracts for two maritime blocks, including the disputed Block 9 .During his time at Exxon, he rose to the position of president and a member of the board of directors in 2004 .From 2006 until assuming his role in U.S. President Donald Trump's administration in 2016, Tillerson was ExxonMobil's chairman and CEO.The United States' close ties to Israel, coupled with Tillerson's business ties with the Russians, bring an interesting dynamic to the diplomat's visit to Beirut but do not necessarily mean he will be able to help resolve the maritime border dispute with Israel, according to analysts.Asked if Tillerson was best suited to mediate in the maritime dispute, Macaron said that while previous U.S. efforts did not succeed in resolving the row, they had been helpful for both sides and prevented escalation. Whether Tillerson or someone else in the U.S. administration gets involved, the outcome should not be different.
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