Jordan set to host energy meeting over gas and electricity transit in Lebanon

Fuel shortages and power cuts caused by Lebanon’s economic collapse paralyze business. [Image: courtesy]
AMMAN, Jordan—A meeting between petroleum and energy ministers from Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan is scheduled on Wednesday, 8th September in Jordan capital, Amman.

The United States has been in recent days hold talks with Egypt and Jordan in a bid to ease Lebanon’s power crisis.

Lebanon’s caretaker deputy prime minister Zeina Akar met Syria’s foreign minister Faisal Mekdad and oil minister Bassam Tomeh in Damascus on Saturday to discuss ways to pave way for the plan so as to ease the power shortages.

“Syria is ready to help Lebanon with transit for Egyptian gas and Jordanian electricity via Syrian territory,” Secretary-general of the Lebanese-Syrian Higher council Nasri Khouri told reporters after the delegation. Khouri added that “The parties agreed to set up a joint team to track technical details” of the plan.

Fuel shortages and power cuts caused by Lebanon’s economic collapse have paralyzed businesses, as well as vital services such as hospitals.

Analysts said such a deal could be a step to opening the door for Syria’s reintegration into the international community over a decade after the regime’s crackdown on protests that escalated into a devastating civil war.

The Lebanese presidency said last month that the US agreed to help Lebanon secure electricity and natural gas from Jordan and Egypt through Syrian territory.

This announcement followed a statement from Hezbollah that Iran would be sending fuel to Lebanon. Lebanon, a country of more than six million people is suffering from an economic crisis that has been termed by the world bank as “one of the worst in the world in modern times.”

The central bank is struggling to pay for basic imports, including fuel, which has caused shortages and power cuts that now last up to 22 hours a day.

Last week, Lebanon was awarded its first tender to swap 84,000t of Iraqi fuel oil with 30,000t of a specific fuel oil grade and 33,000t of gas oil to Dubai’s state-owned Enoc.