Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister on Monday issued a thinly veiled warning to Hezbollah, just days after the Iranian proxy dispatched three drones towards an Israeli natural gas installation, according to Reuters.

“Lebanon considers that any action outside the framework of the state’s responsibility and the diplomatic context in which the negotiations are happening is unacceptable and exposes (Lebanon) to unnecessary risks,” the office of Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati said in a statement, according to the report.

Mikati was referring to U.S.-mediated indirect talks between Beirut and Israel aimed at resolving a longstanding maritime border dispute.

His comments came after Hezbollah on Saturday launched three unmanned aerial vehicles towards Israel’s Karish offshore natural gas platform. The drones were all shot down by the Israel Defense Forces.

The Karish gas field is located approximately 50 miles (80 kilometers) off the coast of Haifa and is widely viewed as located within Israel’s exclusive economic zone, although Lebanon claims its maritime border with Israel is disputed.

Hezbollah last month threatened to attack the Jewish state’s offshore gas-drilling activities over the unresolved border issue.

Amid the tensions, U.S. Senior Advisor for Energy Security Amos Hochstein made a two-day visit to Lebanon in June in a bid to jump-start negotiations on the matter, which were upended last year when Lebanese officials reportedly pushed their maritime claim from a boundary known as “Line 23” further south to “Line 29.”

This added around 540 square miles to Beirut’s claim, including part of Karish.

Mikati’s statement on Monday called for “everyone, without exception” to support the negotiation process, which has reached “advanced stages,” according to Reuters.


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