Syria had approved a plan that will allow Egyptian gas and electricity produced in Jordan to pass through its territory to crisis-struck Lebanon, Secretary-General of the Lebanese-Syrian Supreme Council Nasri Khoury announced on September 4.
Khoury made the announcement during a press conference that followed a meeting between senior Syrian officials and a delegation from Lebanon’s caretaker government. The meeting represented a breakthrough in teh relations between the two countries which deteriorated following the outbreak of the Syrian war in 2011.
The Lebanese delegation was headed by Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Zeina Akar. The delegation included Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni, Energy Minister Raymond Ghajar, General Security agency chief Major General Abbas Ibrahim.
During the meeting, the Syrian side was represented by Foreign Minister Faysal Mikdad, Kinan Yaghi, Minister of Finance, Bassam Tohme, Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources, Fadi El-Khalil, Chairman of the International Planning and Cooperation Committee and Ali Abdel Karim Ali, Syria’s Ambassador to Lebanon.
“We discussed the difficult situation both countries are going through, especially in the field of electricity and gas, and the Lebanese side requested the possibility of Syria’s assistance to Lebanon in passing Egyptian gas and Jordanian electricity through Syrian territory. The Syrian side welcomed the request,” Khoury said. “The two sides agreed to follow up on the detailed technical procedures through a joint team that will discuss issues related to technical matters in both countries.”
The Egyptian gas and Jordanian electricity will be supplied to Lebanon under a US-sponsored aid plan. Washington will be ignoring its own sanctions on Syria, which will reportedly get a share from the gas or passage fees.
In August, Lebanon was hit by an unprecedented fuel crisis with the Central Bank incapable of financing any more fuel shipments.
The plan was announced by US ambassador in Beirut Dorothy C. Shea on August 19 in response to a plan by Hezbollah to import Iranian fuel. Several Iranian tankers are already sailing towards Lebanon. The fuel will likely pass through Syria’s port first in order to avoid sanctions.
Syria, which was badly effected by the economic crisis in Lebanon, is now set to benefit from international efforts to relieve the crisis. All attempts by the US and its allies to isolate Damascus have failed.
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