Syria agrees to the Lebanese request to transmit Egyptian gas and Jordanian electricity to Lebanon through Syrian territories

Syria and Lebanon held talks on Saturday presided over by Syria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Faisal Al-Mikdad and the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Foreign Affairs in the Lebanese caretaking government Zeina Aker.

Following the talks, Secretary General of the Lebanese-Syrian Higher Council Nasri Khouri told journalists that Syria agreed to the Lebanese side’s request to help transmit the Egyptian gas and the Jordanian electricity to Lebanon via the Syrian territories and it expressed readiness for cooperation in this respect.

“We discussed the critical situation the two countries are going through, especially in terms of securing electric power and gas. The Lebanese side asked for Syria’s help in allowing the Egyptian gas and Jordanian electricity to pass through Syrian territories to Lebanon. The Syrian side welcomed the request,” Khouri said.

The two sides also agreed on following up the details of the technical procedures through a joint team tasked with discussing the technical issues in both countries.

 The talks were attended on the Syrian side by Minister of Finance Kinan Yaghi, Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources Basam Tou’meh, Head of the Planning and International Cooperation Commission Fadi Al-Khalil, and the Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim.

The Lebanese side was represented by Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni, Minister of Energy and Water Rymond Ghajar and Director-General of the General Security, Major General Abbas Ibrahim and the Lebanese Ambassador to Syria Saad Zakhia as well as the Secretary General of the Lebanese-Syrian Higher Council Nasri Khouri.

Earlier in the day, a Lebanese ministerial delegation arrived at Yabous Border Crossing on a visit to Syria.

The delegation was received at the border crossing by the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Faisal Al-Mikdad.

Nasri Khouri told reporters that the one-day visit is the first for an official Lebanese delegation to Syria since 2011. It aims at discussing the issue of importing the Egyptian gas to Lebanon through Syria in order to produce electric power needed in Lebanon, he added, pointing out that certain agreements are expected to be reached.

Khouri noted the existence of a previous agreement to import gas from Egypt to Lebanon through Syria and Jordan, but “the Egyptian side stopped supplying Lebanon with gas and now we are working to reactivate this agreement”.

According to Khouri, the visit has political indications as well as some other considerations that have to do with the issue of importing gas and reactivating cooperation between Syria and Lebanon.

“Syria has always been positive in all its policies. It has responded positively despite some hostile stances by some Lebanese parties, because it is keen on boosting cooperation with Lebanon and assisting its neighbors,” Khouri made it clear.

Hamda Mustafa