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EGYPTIAN GAS DEAL

Energy Ministry says media report of US deal to supply Lebanon with Israeli gas is 'totally and completely untrue'

Energy Ministry says media report of US deal to supply Lebanon with Israeli gas is  'totally and completely untrue'

The Egyptian gas deal aims to help improve Lebanon's electricity supply. (Credit: Philippe Hage Boutros/L'Orient-Le Jour)

BEIRUT — Lebanon’s Energy Ministry on Sunday denied as “totally and completely untrue” a report on an Israeli TV station that claimed the US had agreed a deal to supply Israeli gas to Lebanon.

Here’s what we know:

    • “The Ministry of Energy and Water confirms that the gas supply agreement that is being worked on between the Lebanese government and the sisterly Egyptian government clearly and explicitly stipulates that the gas should come from Egypt, which owns large quantities of it, and consumes within the same country more than a hundred times what it will provide to Lebanon,” the statement issued by the ministry read.

    • The statement adds, “what is being circulated about the fact that the gas will be Israeli gas is totally and completely untrue.”

    • Israel’s Channel 12 news had reported on Saturday that a deal to supply Israeli gas to Lebanon had been brokered by Amos Hochstein, Washington’s special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs, and signed in secret over the weekend.

    • A deal to supply Egyptian natural gas to Lebanon is part of a US-led initiative announced during the summer by US Ambassador Dorothy Shea to help alleviate chronic electricity shortages in the crisis-hit country. The deal has been months in the making and is now, according to reports, close to being finalized.

   • A second element of the US-led initiative entails supplying the Lebanese power grid with electricity imported from Jordan, also via Syria. Questions have been raised over the extent to which — if at all — both parts of the plan would involve the US making 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.


BEIRUT — Lebanon’s Energy Ministry on Sunday denied as “totally and completely untrue” a report on an Israeli TV station that claimed the US had agreed a deal to supply Israeli gas to Lebanon.Here’s what we know:     • “The Ministry of Energy and Water confirms that the gas supply agreement that is being worked on between the Lebanese government and the sisterly Egyptian...