Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Press Information Bureau on behalf of Ministry of Power, Government of India
The Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs US Department of State, Amos J. Hochstein on February 18, 2016.

US energy envoy Amos Hochstein is working on reviving a deal to provide Lebanon with gas and electricity from Egypt and Jordan.

Both would be delivered via a route through Syria, according to a report by the Lebanese Naharnet news outlet.


“We are going to work with the World Bank and Treasury Department to make sure that it first doesn’t affect any sanctions, which I think we are okay on, but we will have to have a determination formally,” Hochstein said, according to the report.

As part of the deal, the Biden Administration would waive US sanctions on Syria for companies delivering gas and electricity to Lebanon.

Responding to pushback from some US lawmakers about the proposed relief for the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the envoy pointed out that it will “take a few years” to extract natural gas from the Kana field bordering Israeli maritime territory.

“If we can get as much gas into Lebanon from Egypt and electricity from Jordan in the meantime, that would be very important,” Hochstein said.

The envoy is expected to return to Beirut next week to submit a US-signed demarcation document to seal the maritime border deal between Israel and Lebanon, Deputy Parliament Speaker Elias Bou Saab told Naharnet.

The agreement is set to be formally signed by Lebanon and Israel next week as well – but in a ceremony that will not see either side sharing a table or document with the other.

As soon as the US confirms receipt of the agreement documents from Israel and Lebanon, the new deal will go into force. Both countries will then deposit maritime border coordinates with the United Nations, locking in the agreement.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.