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oil and gasJune 16, 2022

Fayyad says final touches being put on Egypt gas deal

Caretaker Energy Minister Walid Fayyad has said that progress has been made as to finalizing an agreement for importing gas from Egypt through Syria.

In remarks to al-Joumhouria newspaper published Wednesday, Fayyad said he discussed the issue with visiting U.S. energy mediator Amos Hochstein, who expressed “full readiness to cooperate and help in order to complete the remaining stages.”

“The final touches are being put on the final draft of this agreement and a meeting is expected to be held soon in Beirut in the presence of representatives from the energy ministries of Egypt and Syria in order to sign this agreement,” Fayyad added.

He also revealed that Hochstein has promised him that he would help in obtaining funding from the World Bank, exempting the plan from the Caesar Act sanctions imposed on Syria, and mediating with the Iraqis to extend a contract for exporting fuel to Lebanon.

“It is necessary that gas be soon imported from Egypt so that our electricity network improves and we become able to boost production and simultaneously hike the tariff in order to achieve financial sustainability,” Fayyad went on to say.

He revealed that Hochstein, in turn, has informed him that he is “enthusiastic to finalize the gas importation agreement as soon as possible, within the next two months if possible” that he “will seek to contribute to overcoming the obstacles standing in its way.”

Moreover, Fayyad noted that Hochstein has also expressed interest in “following on the agreement for importing electricity from Jordan.”

“He heard from Jordanian King Abdullah II, like we have heard, keenness on implementing it as soon as possible after securing the necessary funding for it,” the minister added.