The Times: US and Syria Unite to Help Lebanon
A report saw that the Lebanon crisis brings presidents Biden and al-Assad together to solve the Lebanese energy crisis, noting that Syria is willing to help transfer gas from Egypt through Jordan.
The Times newspaper wrote that the Syrian government and the United States declare their readiness to cooperate on a joint plan to rescue Lebanon’s energy supply.
The bilateral talks highlight another shift in Middle Eastern politics during President Biden's term.
After a visit by Lebanese ministers, a Damascus official stated that Syria was lending a hand to help import Egyptian gas through Jordan and Syria. Last month, the US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea announced that the plan would involve partially lifting US sanctions on Damascus.
Biden records yet another shift by reviewing Washington's policy on Syria after the two former presidents endorsed an EU-US position that advocates tight sanctions, as long as al-Assad is in power.
The newspaper report added that the Lebanese government recognized the importance of the US easing sanctions on Syria and sent a high-level Lebanese delegation on an unprecedented visit since the outbreak of the war in Syria in 2011 and the imposition of sanctions.
“The American Ambassador’s proposal came in response to finding an alternative solution to Iran’s offer to help Lebanon, after Hezbollah announced its preparations to import Iranian oil, most likely through Syria", the newspaper added.
It mentioned that the first oil ship set off "amid speculations that it would be stopped by Israel or the United States", but the report mentioned that there were not enough legal means to do so, noting that “Hezbollah will provide the first shipment for hospitals and other humanitarian priorities."
The report concluded that Biden took a step forward toward negotiations with Syria, rather than Iran, because of assumptions that if al-Assad returns to the Arab embrace, through trade and diplomatic recognition, Iran's influence could be defeated.