Lebanon's negotiations with IMF likely to start in November -minister

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Oct 24 (Reuters) - Lebanon's foreign minister said on Sunday negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were likely to start in November, Lebanon's Al Jadeed TV reported.

Economy Minister Amin Salam had said on Friday, in an interview with Reuters, that the new government aimed to make progress towards starting full negotiations for an IMF deal by the end of this year or early next, but was not expecting funds to be dispersed before elections in March.

Foreign Minister Bou Habib also spoke about the maritime border dispute between Lebanon and Israel, telling Al Jadeed that he was "optimistic about reaching an agreement".

Lebanon and Israel are in dispute over the delineation of their territorial waters and negotiations between the old foes could lead to Lebanon being able to unlock valuable gas reserves amid its worst-ever financial crisis.

The two countries have been holding on-off U.S. mediated talks since October to try to resolve the issue. (Reporting by Nayera Abdallah; editing by David Evans)

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