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governmentJune 9, 2021

Report: Iraq Agrees to Secure Half of Lebanon’s Oil Needs

The Iraqi government approved to provide Lebanon with Iraqi oil increasing this support from 500,000 tons to one million tons, al-Akhbar daily reported on Wednesday.

Iraq’s crude oil support for Lebanon was first approved during the recent April visit of caretaker Energy Minister Raymond Ghajar to Iraq accompanied by General Security chief Ibrahim Abbas, said the daily.

According to reports, a preliminary agreement was signed earlier between the two countries that would see Lebanon trade its medical expertise for 500,000 tons of Iraqi oil. The amount was doubled later on.

The move was not announced then until some “Iraqi” problems were resolved, al-Akhbar said.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa el-Kazemi informed concerned parties in Lebanon that he will raise the issue of increasing the quantity of crude oil in the cabinet session (Tuesday). Despite some opposition, the Council was decisive in passing the resolution confirming support for Lebanon.

Lebanon's ailing electricity sector is facing dire cash shortages, as the country grapples with its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.

Ghajar has warned that electricity supply was becoming critical and that the crisis-stricken country could be plunged into total darkness by June's end.

Lebanon is wrangling with an unprecedented economic and financial crisis since late 2019, and has been facing increasingly severe fuel shortages in recent months, with long queues at service stations and some drivers waiting more than an hour to buy even small quantities of supplies.