BEIRUT: Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri has called for an inquiry as to why Washington halted its mission to resolve the dispute between Israel and Lebanon over the exclusive economic zone.

Berri, according to visitors, has tasked Lebanon’s Ambassador to Washington Antoine Shedid to find out why Amos Hochstein, U.S. deputy assistant secretary for energy diplomacy, has stopped visiting Lebanon since April.

Berri said he would stress during a Friday meeting with UNIFIL commander Maj. Gen. Luciano Portolano the role the U.N. and peacekeepers should play in helping Lebanon preserve its rights to its exclusive economic zone for exploiting maritime reserves.

Lebanon and Israel are at loggerheads over 870 kilometers in the southern territorial waters.

Lebanon insists this disputed zone is part of the Lebanese territorial waters and is not willing to concede a single kilometer to Israel.

Berri said earlier this month that he had evidence Israel had begun stealing from Lebanon’s offshore gas wealth.