Nasrallah slams Israeli-born US envoy to maritime border dispute

i24NEWS

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Supporters of Lebanon's Iran-backed Shiite group Hezbollah lift portraits of the group's leader Hassan Nasrallah as they rally to attend his speech, broadcast on a giant screen, in the southern city of Nabatiyeh, on May 9, 2022.
Mahmoud ZAYYAT / AFPSupporters of Lebanon's Iran-backed Shiite group Hezbollah lift portraits of the group's leader Hassan Nasrallah as they rally to attend his speech, broadcast on a giant screen, in the southern city of Nabatiyeh, on May 9, 2022.

Hezbollah leader calls Amos Hochstein 'dishonest and compromised and supportive towards Israel'

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah on Monday took aim at the US mediator in Lebanon's maritime border dispute with Israel, calling Amos Hochstein "dishonest and compromised and supportive towards Israel."

The terrorist leader spoke via videolink to supporters of the militant Shiite movement at two rallies in Sour and Nabatieh ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for May 15.

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It was reported in October that President Joe Biden had tapped the Israeli-born Hochstein to take over as mediator in US-sponsored talks between Israel and Lebanon to resolve a maritime border dispute over natural gas exploration.

Lebanon hopes to tap into oil and gas discoveries potentially worth tens of billions of dollars as the country looks to exit from an economic crisis that the World Bank has said is the worst financial collapse since the mid-19th century.

In his address, Nasrallah touted the natural gas reserves as a potential game changer for Lebanon's economy, while warning that “negotiating with Hochstein would not lead to any good outcome.”

Directly addressing the Lebanese government involved in the maritime border talks, Nasrallah said that "if you want to continue negotiating, go ahead, but not in Naqoura (the UNIFIL site in southern Lebanon hosting the talks), and not with Hochstein, Frankenstein, or any other Stein coming to Lebanon."

Israel and Lebanon are technically still in a state of war. They each claim about 330 square miles of Mediterranean waters as their exclusive economic zones.

In February, Hochstein said that he was "optimistic" that both sides were moving toward a deal.

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