Sunday, September 26, 2021

Lebanese, Syrian officials agree on energy import plan

Cairo – Top Lebanese interim government officials met with their Syrian counterparts in Damascus on Saturday for the first time in nearly a decade to discuss the import of Egyptian gas and Jordanian electricity through Syrian territory, and Syria has said it is ready to cooperate.

Syrian state television shows smiling Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad taking a picture of Lebanese Deputy Prime Minister Gina Akar under a picture of President Bashar al-Assad and under the Syrian flag. Arab media reported that there was no sign of the Lebanese flag inside the room during the meeting.

The US embargo on Damascus is a complex factor in any attempt to help Lebanon through Syria, but Arab media reported that US Ambassador Dorothy Shia appeared in Beirut to give the green light to a Lebanese-Syrian rally during a meeting with Lebanon. At the end of last month, President Michelle Aoun.

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Nasri Khuri, head of the Syria-Lebanon Cooperation Commission, told reporters after the meeting that officials from both countries were interested in facilitating the supply of electricity and gas. Both sides will now examine the technical details of the project.

But Khattar Abu Diab, who teaches political science at the University of Paris, told VOA that Syria does not have the technical facilities to transfer Egyptian gas, and that “power lines from Jordan will cross Syria.” [the southern city of] Dara, which is currently the battlefield. “

Diab said the decision to forge the deal came from U.S. diplomacy, which he said was somewhat unpredictable and full of inconsistencies, especially regarding policy towards Syria.

File – Barbers shave their customers outside their shop in Beirut, Lebanon due to a power outage.

He said Jordan’s King Abdullah had tried to lobby for such an agreement during a meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House in July, before the US ambassador to Lebanon agreed to the deal. Diab said Jordan was in a difficult economic position and wanted to normalize relations with Syria, suggesting that any taxes levied on Syria should only be used for humanitarian purposes.

The leaders of Egypt, Jordan and Iraq agreed on an energy cooperation agreement in Baghdad in June to allow Egypt to send natural gas and electricity to the other two countries. Negotiations at that time indicated that the agreement would eventually be extended to Syria and Lebanon.

Paul Sullivan, a Washington-based Middle East analyst, told VOA that Saturday’s agreement between Lebanon and Syria would “strengthen Hezbollah, Syria and Iran in Lebanon.” [and] It can bring more problems in the country. One has to wonder if there is any other way to get fuel in Lebanon without hands [such] The ability to insult in this way [actor]. “

Meanwhile, Iraqi TV reported that Iran cut off gas shipments to Baghdad on Saturday amid a dispute over money owed to Iran for fuel shipments. According to some reports, Baghdad is reluctant to pay Tehran because of US economic sanctions on Iran.

Some of the information in this report came from Reuters.

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Lebanese, Syrian officials agree on energy import plan
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