Several Middle Eastern states agreed to export natural gas from Egypt to energy-starved Lebanon, though the exact plan is not clear.
The energy ministers of Egypt, Syria and Jordan met in Amman on Wednesday with their Lebanese counterpart. There, they agreed to export natural gas from Egypt through Jordan and Syria to Lebanon, Egypt’s state-owned Al-Ahram news outlet reported.
“Egypt is working to speed up coordination for the delivery of Egyptian natural gas to Lebanon through Jordan and Syria, given Egypt’s keenness to ease the burdens of the Lebanese people and to contribute to Lebanon's support and stability,” Egypt’s Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla said.
The plan is to export the gas into northern Lebanon with the purpose of activating power plants run on gas there that are currently not operating. The ministers did not provide many further details, however, including the timeline for the gas shipments. Molla said they hope to begin sending gas “as soon as possible,” according to Al-Ahram.
Syria has also agreed to transfer Jordanian electricity to Lebanon, the official SANA news agency reported.
Lebanon is suffering from a devastating economic crisis that is marked by chronic fuel and electricity shortages. People wait for hours at gas stations for the chance to only partially fill their tanks. Most residents are also without electricity for most of the day. Lebanon already had daily power outages before the crisis began in 2019, but without ample fuel, people cannot easily use generators to get power when the electricity is off. There are also bread, medicine and water shortages and the population is increasingly angry at the government for its inability to provide basic services.
Iran also sent fuel to Syria this month to be transported to Lebanon.
The Egyptian gas news followed Egypt sending medical aid to Lebanon last month following a deadly fuel explosion.