Lebanon, Egypt, Syria to initial gas deal on Friday
Egypt, Lebanon and Syria will sign here an initial agreement Friday for exporting Egyptian natutral gas to the other two countries, officials told AFP on Wednesday.
The deal will be sealed by Lebanese Oil Minister Mohamad Abdel Hamid Beydoun and his visiting counterparts, Egypt's Sameh Fahmi and Syria's Mohamad Maher al-Jammal, they said.
Officials said earlier this week that the deal had been due to be signed Thursday by the Egyptian and Lebanese ministers, in the presence of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
On Monday, the Jordanian official news agency Petra reported that Amman was examining the possibility of joining Lebanon and Syria in the regional scheme to import gas across the Mediterranean Sea.
Hariri, during his trip to Cairo last month, reached a deal to import gas from the Egyptian coastal city of El Arish to the port of Tripoli in north Lebanon, before re-exporting it to Syria and Turkey.
The Hariri-owned Al-Mustaqbal daily quoted Fahmi as saying on November 27 that Lebanon will "import from Egypt a daily volume of between six and nine million cubic meters (210 and 315 million cubic feet) of gas worth between $80 and $100 million each year."
The Hariri government was also seeking another project aimed at importing oil from Iraq through Syria and from Iran through Iraq and Syria to allow Lebanon to re-export it to world markets.
On Friday, Beydoun announced that Beirut and Damascus agreed to promptly repair a pipeline to allow Lebanon to take advantage of Iraqi oil in the "oil- for-food" programme, after a deal with Baghdad which should come in February.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)