Jordan's King Abdullah II and the Egyptian and Syrian presidents, Hosni Mubarak and Bashar Al-Assad, will inaugurate a trilateral electricity network in Damascus Wednesday, March 14, a diplomatic source said here.
The Jordanian royal palace and the Egyptian presidency said Monday that King Abdullah and President Mubarak would visit Damascus Wednesday.
An Egyptian presidential source said Mubarak would have talks with Assad ahead of an Arab summit in Amman on March 27, while an official from the palace told AFP that the king's visit was tied to the electricity link-up between Syria and Jordan.
The director general of Syria's electricity authority, Zaki Odeh, said in January that tests for linking with the Jordanian and Egyptian electricity grids have been completed and that the project would soon be inaugurated.
The linkup required erecting a 360-kilometer (225 mile) line connecting the Syrian and Jordanian networks, with a capacity of 400 kilovolts, he said.
The Jordanian and Egyptian networks were linked in March 1999 by an underwater cable, as part of a project launched in 1996 aimed at connecting the grids of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Turkey and Iraq.
The next phases of the network should link Syria with Turkey and Lebanon. The 400-kilovolt line 350 kilometers (219 miles) long between Syria and Turkey should be ready by the end of 2001, and that with Lebanon in 2002.
The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD), which is part of the Arab League, has put up 300 million dollars to see the project through. — (AFP, Amman)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )