The Times: Biden and Assad are cooperating to solve the energy crisis in Lebanon

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Ibrahim Darwish

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London – “Al-Quds Al-Arabi”: “The Times” newspaper published a report by its correspondent in the Middle East entitled “Assad and Biden unite to solve the fuel crisis in Lebanon,” in which he said that the regime of Bashar al-Assad and the United States expressed their willingness to cooperate in a rescue plan for Lebanon andSave electrical energy, as a sign of another shift in Middle East policy led by President Joseph Biden.

An official in Damascus said, “Syria is ready to help” in Importing Egyptian gas through Jordan and Syria. Suspended after the visit of a Lebanese government delegation to Syria.

The newspaper comments that the proposal was announced by the US ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, last month in a way that surprised observers in the region. Under it, a partial lifting of US sanctions on Syria will take place. The administrations of former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump have adhered to US and European Union sanctions against Syria as long as Assad remains in power. But the Biden administration is reviewing US policy from Syria.

The newspaper says that the proposal to supply Lebanon with gas means using parts of “Arabian Pipes” network to Egypt and was presented as an urgent matter to respond to the deteriorating economic situation in Lebanon. Electric power stations, gas stations and diesel generators are suffering from severe fuel shortages amid the collapse of the currency and the collapse of the government.

The writer wondered whether the proposal was practical or not? It will remain controversial. The Syrian part of the gas pipelines has not been used since 2011 and is in need of repair and modernization, at a time when there is only one fuel station in Lebanon equipped to deal with liquefied gas. What matters in the move is the United States softening its position on the issue of sanctions, which was taken advantage of by the Lebanese government, which on Saturday sent a high-level delegation to Damascus, the first since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in 2011, and imposed sanctions.

The Acting Minister of Defense, Minister of Energy and Director of Lebanese Security met with Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Miqdad. According to the official in Damascus, “the parties agreed to form a joint team to discuss the technical details,” and the talks will continue this week.

Shea was responding to an alternative plan from Iran to help Lebanon. Hezbollah arranged for Iranian oil to be imported through Syria. The first tanker carrying oil has not yet arrived, as it is still in the Red Sea before it crosses the Suez Canal.

There has been speculation about Israeli and American attempts to intercept the ship and prevent it from reaching Syrian ports, but they have no legal means. Hezbollah says it will use the fuel to support hospitals and humanitarian purposes. Washington’s response to the crisis indicates that the Biden administration is currently in favor of opening Syria rather than Iran. Despite the alliance between Damascus and Tehran, America’s regional allies are trying to convince the Biden administration that the only way is to allow Damascus to return to the Arab fold in the field of trade and diplomatic recognition. This is a matter of concern to Hezbollah, which has established trade lines and transported weapons with Iran through Syria.

A picture of the Lebanese delegation was taken under the Syrian flag and in front of a huge picture of Assad. Which sparked comments For the absence of the Lebanese flagThe Syrian presence in Lebanon lasted for 30 years.





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