| 27 September 2022, Tuesday |

Will American division deprive Lebanon from Egyptian gas and Jordanian current?

The issue of importing gas and electricity through Syria from Egypt and Jordan to Lebanon is still a subject of attraction and division within the United States of America between the Republicans on the one hand and the American administration on the other.

And if the Republicans are leading the campaign to demand an exemption issued by Congress and consider that this deal, which violates Caesar’s law, gives Assad the opportunity to influence again in Lebanon, and gives him the argument to demand later in similar exceptions, sources reveal that the Democrats also have questions, albeit undeclared, in order not to contradict their administration, which considers that this project does not need an exception from Congress because it does not constitute a violation of sanctions, and its aim is humanitarian.

New to this debate, a joint letter from the two prominent Republican members of the House and Senate Foreign Relations Committees, Michael McCaul and Jim Risch, who sent a letter Tuesday to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in which they considered that the energy deals facilitated by the Biden administration between Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt would enrich m the Assad regime while imposing US sanctions under the Caesar Civilian Protection Act in Syria.

The letter included a reference to the energy sector in Lebanon as a black hole of corruption and considered that such a project would exacerbate corruption in Lebanon.

A member of the Foreign Relations Committees in both the House of Representatives and the Senate feared that the US administration’s support for these deals would set a precedent that it was not ready to impose Caesar’s Law and would make it easier for international actors to find loopholes to avoid the sanctions imposed by Congress. The sources reveal that the objectors suggested other ideas to help Lebanon secure electricity that does not need to pass through Syria, such as trawling gas across the sea from Egypt and improving the import of fuel. As a result of this message, fears emerged, especially in Egypt, that the majority would change in the upcoming elections in Congress next November. And it becomes with the Republicans, which may undermine the current decision and allow the import of Egyptian gas through Syria without being subjected to sanctions, and with it the guarantees that Egypt and Jordan obtained in this regard from the US administration.

In any case, the agreement with Jordan was settled, but bot yet with Egypt.

  • Sawt Beirut International