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    Lebanese PM-Designate’s Resignation Raises Questions on Future of Maritime Dispute Talks With Israel

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    Prime Minister Designate Mustapha Adib announced that he would be stepping down on Saturday, saying 's political factions “failed to refuse to politicize the process of forming a government.” Adib was appointed in August, after Prime Minister Hassan Diab resigned in the turmoil following the explosion, which killed nearly 200 people.

    Prime Minister designate Adib's surprise resignation raises questions on the future of US-mediated Lebanese-Israeli talks aimed at resolving the two Middle Eastern ' long-standing maritime dispute.

    The talks, expected to be mediated a senior US official, possibly Secretary of State for Near East Affairs David Schenker, according to media, were to discuss the 860-square-kilometer resource-rich wedge of maritime territory in the Eastern Mediterranean claimed by both countries.

    Initially, Beirut sought for the talks to be mediated by both the UN and the US, but had reportedly caved amid Israeli resistance and agreed that a UN rapporteur be present only in the capacity of observer, with the US serving as the sole mediator.

    Energy Minister Steinitz was expected to represent the Israeli side, while Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, coordinating with President Michel Aoun's office, representing the Lebanese side.

    Hezbollah, the political and militant group which carries significant influence in Lebanese politics, expressed strong resistance to the idea of talks with Israel, and had supported the Diab…

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