Hezbollah reportedly accused the United States of halting Lebanon’s electricity deal with Egypt and Jordan.
The Iran-affiliated party commented that the U.S is not granting these two countries confirmations that they would be exempted from the Caesar Act sanctions if they export gas and electricity to Lebanon through Syria.
The United States Ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, refuted the accusation during her meeting on Tuesday with Lebanon’s Energy Minister Walid Fayyad, emphasizing the “continued progress on these regional energy deals.”
“It is a long and complicated process, and I would urge the audiences out there to not believe the naysayers who would have you believe that there is no progress,” the U.S. ambassador commented.
She explained that providing Lebanon with its need of electricity supply and funding is “not an easy exercise, especially not right now, given all the other complications in the world and the disruptions to the world energy markets because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”
Talks to overcome these particular new challenges are ongoing between the Lebanese Energy Minister and his counterparts while working on these deals.
“They are ongoing and they are productive and positive,” Ambassador Shea affirmed, “and we look forward to a successful outcome. Hang in there. We have not given up hope and you shouldn’t either,” she added to the attention of the Lebanese people.
This electricity agreement was established between Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Syria last year, to supply Lebanon with electricity through Syria in order to boost the energy sector, which can barely provide electricity for very short hours each day.
The World Bank had also indicated that it will be willing to lend Lebanon a loan of hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for the electricity imports through Syria, which “will be clear by March,” according to the Lebanese Energy Minister Walid Fayyad.