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Lebanon has handed over a U.S. response to a proposal to delimit the maritime border with Israel, said Elias Nicolas Bou Saab, deputy speaker of the Lebanese parliament.

The American ambassador advised us to speed up the response she has now, Bou Saab told Lebanese television station LBCI.

The deputy speaker of Lebanon's parliament expects an agreement to demarcate the border with Israel in 15 days.

Last week, Lebanese President Michel Aoun received fromU.S. Ambassador to Beirut Dorothy Shea an official response from Israeli authorities via an American mediator to Lebanese proposals for the demarcation of the common maritime border, including disputed points regarding the separation of the border's offshore gas fields. Israel in June called on Lebanese authorities to speed up negotiations on the maritime border, described the Karish field as its strategic asset and assured that it had no intention of extracting gas from the disputed territory.

Negotiations to determine the land and sea border between Lebanon and Israel have been underway since 1996 in the Naqoura settlement in southern Lebanon on the basis of a memorandum of understanding under the aegis of the United Nations and with U.S. mediation.

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