Lebanon, Israel to resume maritime talks on Tuesday

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FILE PHOTO: A base for U.N. peacekeepers of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is pictured in Naqoura, near the Lebanese-Israeli border

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lebanon and Israel will resume U.S.-mediated talks on a dispute about their Mediterranean Sea border on Tuesday after the arrival of a team from Washington, a U.S. State Department statement said on Friday.

The team, led by John Desrocher, will arrive in Beirut on Monday.

Negotiations between old foes Lebanon and Israel began in October to try to resolve the dispute which has held up hydrocarbon exploration in the potentially gas-rich area, but the talks stalled.

The countries held several rounds of talks hosted by the United Nations at a peacekeepers base in southern Lebanon, the culmination of three years of diplomacy by the United States.

Lebanese official sources had told Reuters on Thursday that talks would resume next week.

(Reporting By Mary Miliken in Washington, writing by Maha El Dahan; Editing by Toby Chopra)