By KAREEM CHEHAYEB
BEIRUT (AP) — The U.S. has delivered a maritime border demarcation proposal to Lebanese President Michel Aoun, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, as negotiations with Israel progress. U.S. Ambassador Dorothy Shea delivered the proposal, written by a mediator to Aoun on Saturday. A senior adviser for energy security at the U.S. State Department who has been mediating between the two neighbors expressed optimism following his last visit in September. The two countries, which have been officially at war since Israel’s creation in 1948, both claim some 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) of the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon hopes to unleash offshore oil and gas production as it grapples with its economic crisis.