Mikati invites Egypt’s FM to visit Lebanon in light of strong bilateral relations

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CAIRO – Lebanon’s new Prime Minister Najib Mikati invited Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Tuesday to visit Lebanon at the earliest opportunity.

This comes in light of the strong relations gathering the two countries and their brotherly peoples and the horizons to enhance these relations in the coming period, a statement by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry read.

The invitation came as Shoukry and Mikati spoke via phone. During the phone call, Shoukry congratulated Mikati on the formation of a new Lebanese government.

Shoukry wished Mikati success in dealing with the big challenges facing Lebanon in light of the exacerbated economic situation in the country.

The Egyptian top diplomat affirmed that Egypt spares no effort to coordinate with sisterly and friendly countries to achieve what is in the interest of the Lebanese people.

Shoukry affirmed that this comes with the aim of bringing the situations in sisterly Lebanon back to the time before the exacerbated situation through providing support in various fields.

The Egyptian minister said this support should help push forward the economy and find solutions to the energy problem.

Earlier this month, Egypt has agreed to pipe natural gas to Lebanon through Jordan and Syria in a meeting involving the energy minister of the four countries in Amman.

The meeting addressed a US-backed plan to facilitate the exportation of Egyptian gas to Jordan so as to generate electricity and transmit it to Lebanon via Syria.

Following the meeting, Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum Tarek El Molla voiced hope that the country can soon export gas to Jordan to help supply Lebanon with electricity.

Molla said Egypt will allocate all capabilities to help end the Lebanese energy crisis and work to quickly send natural gas to Lebanon.

Egypt is working to quickly coordinate the arrival of its natural gas to Lebanon based on its keenness to contribute to supporting Lebanon and its stability, Molla said.

Molla affirmed Egypt’s keenness to fulfill cooperation in this field due to the great importance of Egyptian natural gas in supporting Lebanon and meeting the needs of the Lebanese people.

The minister affirmed that this cooperation stems from Egypt’s supportive role toward the Arab brothers in all issues and comes as per the directives of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

A day after his resignation as Lebanon’s prime minister-designate in July, Saad Al-Hariri revealed his country’s plans to import Egyptian gas through Syria, saying he discussed the issue during his visit to Cairo.

Hariri said his country would save 50-60 percent of the cost if it uses the Egyptian gas in its stations.

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