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GAS DEAL

US envoy delivers letter to Mikati answering some Egyptian gas deal concerns: premier's office

US envoy delivers letter to Mikati answering some Egyptian gas deal concerns: premier's office

The US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea. (Credit: Al Jadeed screenshot)

BEIRUT — The US Ambassador in Lebanon Dorothy Shea on Friday delivered a letter to Prime Minister Najib Mikati from the United States Treasury Department. The letter “gives answers to some concerns coming from the Lebanese authorities regarding the regional fuel agreements the US has facilitated between Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt,” the premier reported via his official twitter account.

Here’s what we know:

    • A long-awaited Egyptian gas deal is aimed at improving Lebanon’s electricity supply and is part of the US-led initiative announced during the summer by Shea. A second component of the intuitive consists of supplying the struggling Lebanese power grid with electricity imported from Jordan, also via Syria. Implementing both of these solutions might require the US to make exceptions to the sanctions regime it imposed on Syria under the Caesar Act, which targets individuals and entities collaborating with Bashar al-Assad’s government.

    • After delivering the letter to Mikati, the prime minister’s twitter account quoted Shea as saying, “There won’t be any concern from the US sanction laws, and this letter that has been delivered represents a step forward and a significant event at a time where we are still moving forward to achieve more sustainable energy … in order to help solve the energy crisis from which the Lebanese people are suffering.”

    • On Monday, a spokesperson for Mikati told L’Orient Today, after a visit by Mikati to Egypt, that Egyptian authorities have agreed verbally to sign the deal under which gas would be exported from Egypt to Lebanon. “The deal still awaits Washington’s approval on whether or not it will let the deal take place considering the sanctions they impose on Syria,” he said.

    • On Dec. 30, Energy Minister Walid Fayad said that the first phase of repairs to the Arab Gas Pipeline, a prerequisite to the execution of the deal, will be completed by the end of February. Fayad also claimed that the Jordanian and Egyptian energy deals would increase Lebanon’s electricity supply by 10 hours. 


BEIRUT — The US Ambassador in Lebanon Dorothy Shea on Friday delivered a letter to Prime Minister Najib Mikati from the United States Treasury Department. The letter “gives answers to some concerns coming from the Lebanese authorities regarding the regional fuel agreements the US has facilitated between Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt,” the premier reported via his official twitter account....