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February 06
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U.S. guarantees will protect a maritime border agreement with Israel if former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wins Israel's elections, Acting Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati told Reuters.

Netanyahu threatened to neutralize the agreement, which went into effect last week after years of indirect U.S.-brokered negotiations that finally established a maritime border between the two states.

The United States has pledged to remain a guarantor of the hard-won agreement. Amos Hochstein, the U.S. special envoy for energy, told reporters in Lebanon that he expects the deal to survive both the disputed elections in Israel and the election of a new president in Lebanon.

Mikati also seemed confident, saying he was not afraid of the fate of the deal. The maritime boundary delimitation agreement, though limited in scope, is expected to pave the way for increased energy exploration by both Israel and Lebanon.

Netanyahu has criticized the deal, saying it benefits Hezbollah, which is at war with Israel.

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