Solutions in a vicious circle… Will Lebanon obtain Egyptian gas?

Solutions in a vicious circle… Will Lebanon obtain Egyptian gas?
Solutions in a vicious circle… Will Lebanon obtain Egyptian gas?

Muhammad Shukair wrote in Asharq Al-Awsat:

Day after day, Lebanon is plunged into complete darkness due to the continuing power outages, which are almost total, with the exception of some official headquarters, and a few lucky areas without the caretaker government moving a finger, and distracting from time to time by renewing the contract to import fuel from Iraq for power generation, or Searching for other sources to import fuel sometimes from Algeria and sometimes from Kuwait, while attention is hidden from the reasons behind the delay in benefiting from importing gas from Egypt and electricity from Jordan, although the Ministry of Energy had signed an agreement with the Egyptian government and another with the Jordanian government.

The electric darkness that is hanging over Lebanon is added to the political darkness that can be addressed by floating the caretaker government, which was placed on a hot fire in the event that President Michel Aoun did not initiate a coup against the promise he made to the Hezbollah leadership to facilitate its float, which is supposed to be translated into steps Concrete as soon as President Najib Mikati returns from New York before the end of this week.

Political sources accompanying the communications that led to the signing of an agreement by the Ministry of Energy with its Egyptian counterpart to extract gas from Egypt fear that this signature will remain ink on paper, and that the alternative is to extend the owners of generators to generate electricity to control the control of the Lebanese in light of the state’s treatment of them as the legitimate heir To the invisible Electricité du Liban by refraining from issuing statements to inform public opinion of the continuing darkness that besieges the vast majority of the Lebanese who are no longer able to pay the monthly subscription bill for generator owners.

Political sources accuse some in the government, specifically the Ministry of Energy, of colluding with the owners of generators and providing them with official protection on the pretext that they cover the government’s inability to provide electricity to the Lebanese, and ask as long as the failure in this area falls on Minister Walid Fayyad, why does Mikati tend to grant a “special pardon” » About him excluding him from the ministers covered by the replacement in the event that the government float went its way to implementation, despite the fact that the relationship between them was more than tainted?

The same sources warn against blaming Egypt for negligence in an attempt to escape forward on the one hand, and to divert attention from blackmailing the owners of generators to the majority of the Lebanese by increasing the value of the monthly subscription, but this time in dollars under the pretext of the rise in the price of diesel due to the deterioration of the purchasing power of the national currency, and she told Asharq Al-Awsat » It is not permissible to place the responsibility on the shoulders of the Egyptian government, which did not hesitate to agree to import Egyptian gas to Lebanon.

She points out that the Egyptian government may have to explain the facts to the Lebanese at the appropriate time in order to put the points on the line, especially since there are those who are trying to absolve themselves of responsibility by leveling arbitrary accusations to justify the “harmony” between the influential people who control the generator mafia and those who have the upper hand. The Ministry of Energy announced the resignation of the Electricité du Liban (EDL) from its duties by refusing to inform the public about its data, even as a matter of clearing its responsibility.
Political sources reveal that the delay of the Ministry of Energy, and through it the government, in benefiting from the use of Egyptian gas to compensate for the shortfall in power generation, after it reached its peak and in an unprecedented manner in recent weeks, is due to three reasons. The first is related to the lack of an agreement with the World Bank to secure the financial loan to cover the cost. The finances required to import gas from Egypt and electricity from Jordan, and the second is due to Washington’s reluctance to give official approval confirming that gas importation is not included in sanctions under the “Caesar Law.”
As for the third reason, according to the sources, it is due to the government’s reluctance through the Ministry of Energy to prepare the book of conditions that includes the required reforms in the electricity sector as a mandatory passage for the approval of the World Bank to disburse the required financial loan by putting it later to the vote by countries and institutions with permanent membership in the World Bank .

The sources ask, as long as the American ambassador in Beirut, Dorothy Shea, constantly asserts that Washington does not stand against importing gas from Egypt and electricity from Jordan for humanitarian reasons and will not be covered by Caesar’s Law, why did the US Congress not take the initiative to write a message in this regard to be sent to Egypt and Jordan Because there is a need for it to prevent it from being included later in this law with the change of the American administration?
She asserts that Egypt has nothing to do with any delay in benefiting from the import of Egyptian gas and electricity from Jordan, and says that the problem is limited to the US administration, which still hesitates to send a message to both Egypt and Jordan that the import of power generation is not covered by Caesar’s law as long as it is due to humanitarian reasons, according to the US ambassador’s admission. .
The problem, as the sources say, is due to Lebanon’s official reluctance to prepare the conditions book for obtaining a World Bank loan to finance these two operations, which provides for the formation of a regulatory authority for the electricity sector, an increase in tariffs, a halt to encroachments on networks and lines, and their rehabilitation to stop waste due to the faults that hit them.

Lebanon is still in a vicious circle in this regard, and it was during Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s tenure of the penultimate government in the early days of President Aoun that the political team affiliated with the President of the Republic rejected the offer made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the time when she visited accompanied by the head of the Council of Ministers. Management of Siemens, and it is intended to help Lebanon rehabilitate the electricity sector without incurring any financial cost.

The same thing was repeated when the CEDRE conference was held under the direct French auspices and with a prominent role for Prime Minister Hariri at the time, as Aoun and his political team were behind the failure to translate his decisions into actions, including those related to the rehabilitation of the electricity sector, which did not receive a response from them by their refusal to appoint the governing body for its management, despite the fact that His rehabilitation was included as a main item on the agenda of the repeated visits of the French envoy, Pierre Dukan, who was charged with following up and implementing his decisions, specifically related to the rehabilitation of the electricity sector.


The article is in Arabic

Tags: Solutions vicious circle .. Lebanon obtain Egyptian gas

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