Representatives and officials from Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt sign gas import agreement at the energy ministry in Beirut, Lebanon on 21 June 2022. (Photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir)
Lebanon’s caretaker Minister of Energy, Walid Fayyad, met with the CEO of Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), Magdy Galal, on 2 July to discuss the progress in the Lebanese-Egyptian gas pipeline project, and the ongoing efforts to finalize the deal in light of the US and World Bank demands.
Galal was representing the Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek Al Mulla.
“The US administration is reviewing the contract, including the issue of sanctions on Syria. However the most prominent progress is the Egyptian reaffirmation to pump gas as soon as American [sanction bypass] assurance is available,” Fayyad told Lebanese media.
The gas pipeline extends from Al-Arish in Egypt, through Aqaba and the Rehab region in Jordan, and through Syria’s Homs into Lebanon.
As a transit country, Syria is expected to benefit from a portion of the gas and electricity delivered, as compensation for transit fees and maintenance.
Fayyad is set to visit Iraq on 5 July at the invitation of his Iraqi counterpart, Ihsan Abdul Jabbar.
The Lebanese minister of energy will discuss the possibility of renewing the agreement to supply Lebanon with fuel for electricity, which expires in September.
Lebanon is also expected to inform Iraq about its plan to settle its past due financial obligations.
“We agreed with the Governor of the Banque du Liban, Riad Salameh, to find a specific mechanism for payments. Lebanon will not forget this great deed of Iraq by extending a helping hand in these difficult time, ” said Fayyad.
فياض مترئسا الاجتماع الوزاري العربي للمياه: العدو يطمع بالثروات المائية لدول الجوار ولا مجال للمساومة
لقراءة الخبر الضغط على الرابط الآتي لموقع #مصدر_دبلوماسيhttps://t.co/214JGP8XkB#وليد_فياض pic.twitter.com/cEO1Bq4HSg
— Marlene Khalife (@Marlenekhalife) July 3, 2022
The Lebanese energy minister travelled to Egypt to participate in a conference at the Arab League headquarters where officials discussed a study that assessed the damage caused by the Israeli aggression on Gaza during the May 2021 war.
He arrived at the invitation of Palestinian Minister of Water Mazen Ghoneim.
Fayyad thanked Egypt for hosting the gathering and stressed his appreciation of Egypt’s continuous defense of the Arab cause and support for those in dire need, like Lebanon.
“The massive destruction that befell the Gaza Strip, affecting thousands of homes and vital infrastructure facilities, requires immediate recovery and reconstruction plans.” Fayyad said in his speech.
“Lebanon suffered from this in the invasion of 1982, Operation Grapes of Wrath in 1996, and the July 2006 aggression. Most of our infrastructure, including electricity, water, sewage, bridges, and roads were destroyed,” he added.
The conference lasted through 3 July and tackled the state of water resources in Arab states.