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Israel approves contested maritime borders

July 10, 2011 at 10:44 AM

JERUSALEM, July 10 (UPI) -- Israel Sunday formally approved a deal with Cyprus that establishes its maritime borders and firms up Israeli claims to offshore natural-gas reserves.

The Cabinet voted its approval despite objections from neighboring Lebanon, which contends the border should be set well to the south of the one Israel and Cyprus agreed to.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman dismissed Beirut's objections as a maneuver by Hezbollah to create "friction."

"We will not give up any part of what is rightfully ours," Lieberman told a radio interview.

Ynetnews said Israeli officials expressed a willingness to negotiate with Lebanon to clarify the matter.

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