Israel's decision to start oil, gas exploration in disputed area "dangerous": Lebanon president

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BEIRUT, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese President Michel Aoun said Monday that Israel's decision to start oil and gas exploration in the disputed area with Lebanon near Block 9 is "dangerous," a statement by the presidency reported.

"This will complicate the situation further as Lebanon will not allow any violations of its internationally recognized territorial waters especially in the Exclusive Economic Zone where Block 9, which will be explored by Lebanon within a month, is located," Aoun said during his meeting with Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church Youssef el Absi.

The Israeli cabinet announced a day earlier that it has approved oil and gas exploration near the disputed area with Lebanon, raising concerns among the Lebanese about the possibility of an armed conflict between the two countries.

Lebanon has an unresolved maritime border with Israel that involves a triangular sea area of about 860 square km extending along the edge of three of its 10 offshore energy blocks.

The United States mediated between Lebanon and Israel to end the dispute over maritime borders but failed to reach any positive results. Enditem

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