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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Beirut - Asharq Al-Awsat

Lebanon: US Ensures Egypt, Jordan are Exempted from Caesar Act on Gas Deal

Lebanese President Michel Aoun receives US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea (Dalati and Nohra)

The US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea assured that progress has been made on the agreement to secure Egypt and Jordan from the Caesar Act in order to deliver natural gas to cash-strapped Lebanon.

Shea made her assurance during a meeting with Lebanon’s caretaker Energy Minister Walid Fayyad on Friday.

She also held separate meetings with President Michel Aoun and several Lebanese officials. Discussions focused on the contact results of US energy envoy Amos Hochstein with the Israelis on the demarcation of the southern maritime boundary.

Hochstein had visited Lebanon on June 13 and held talks with senior Lebanese officials who made a unified response regarding indirect negotiations with Israel, and claimed the right to the entire Qana field and line 23.

A Foreign Ministry statement said the meeting between Shea and Fayyad touched on several issues, mainly the recent signing of gas contracts with Egypt and Syria on June 21.

Shea briefed Fayyad on her latest meeting with US officials in Washington, noting the “progress” achieved at the level of guarantees to ensure that no negative repercussions would impact Egypt or Jordan from the Ceasar Law.

Earlier, Lebanon, Egypt and Syria signed an agreement to transport Egyptian gas to Lebanon in order to operate an electricity plant in North Lebanon.

But the agreement remained pending an American approval that excludes Cairo from the US imposed sanctions on Damascus under the "Caesar's Law", and awaiting for a World Bank financing approval.

Under the agreement, gas would be pumped through a pipeline to a power station in Deir Ammar in northern Lebanon, to add about 450 megawatts to the network, that's about four more hours of electricity daily.

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