US Willful About Pre-Clearance To Lebanon About Electricity Imports
Lebanon– Amidst conversations of encouragement and support offered by Jordan to Lebanon, the latter has said that they have not gone ahead with the imports of fossil fuels because a go-ahead from the US was awaited. However, the latest shows, that US is not stopping or stalling the need for energy and has said that Beirut already has a ‘pre-clearance’ to import from Syria.
Sanctions would be sidestepped to support Lebanon that is not only cash strapped but also reeling in extreme shortages affecting the population dearly over running their cars or cooling their homes.
Previously, the Syrian energy minister had blamed politics for the delay in sourcing electricity from Syria, but if he has been passing the buck, that has been passed back to him, Mr. Walid Fayad. Lebanon had received a go-ahead for support to transport electricity from Jordan via Syria. In an agreement brokered by the US, the three governments said that 250 megawatts would begin to flow to Lebanon by March.
Three years ago, black nights became common in Lebanon. Electricity shortage was a common occurrence as the economy went into a complete collapse mode three years ago with its financial system struggling under a heavy debt load.
On the development of US clearance, US Special Envoy for Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently that, “We have given [Lebanon] some comfort and pre-clearance to, based on the information we had, to move ahead [and waive] the sanctions, but I want to be clear that that will be determined when the contracts are signed.”
But he has also hinted on the fact that agreements with Lebanon could be exempted, provided that the contracts do not benefit the Assad regime. Earlier, it was being rumoured that the trilateral deal could be delivering political and financial gains for Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.