Lebanon on Saturday denounced Israel's preparations for oil and gas exploration in a disputed maritime area between the two countries.
Israel’s granting “of offshore exploration contracts to Halliburton Company or others in the disputed area constitutes a violation and a blow to the framework agreement sponsored by the US and the United Nations," Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said in a statement.
The statement came in response to reports that Tel Aviv awarded Halliburton with a contract to carry out oil and gas exploration in the disputed area.
Lebanon is locked in a dispute with Israel over an area in the Mediterranean Sea spanning about 860 square kilometers (some 332 square miles), known as Zone No. 9, which is rich with oil and gas.
The maritime borders between Lebanon and Israel have not seen any military conflicts, unlike their land borders.
Lebanese group Hezbollah controls the area bordering Israel, and sporadic tensions take place from time to time as Tel Aviv accuses the Shia group of attempting to breach the border.
*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in AnkaraAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.