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Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Dorothy Shea from the Ministry of Energy
March 15, 2022

Good morning, and thank you, Your Excellency, Mr. Minister, for the really positive discussion that we had this morning.  I am encouraged when I hear about the continued progress on these regional energy deals.  It is a long and complicated process, and I would urge the audiences out there to not believe the naysayers who would have you believe that there is no progress.  You know, I just reviewed some very lengthy documents, contractual documents, that require hours of painstaking review by lawyers on the part of multiple parties, and I am really appreciative to the advice that the minister and his team have been getting from the World Bank,  because they are bringing to the forefront the best practices in the international arena on such arrangements.  We are relying on their very good advice, when it comes to things like the overall plan for which the Council of Ministers gave their preliminary approval some weeks ago, and we’re looking forward to continued progress on that.  Also the tariff structures, and other arrangements to make sure that this sector, your electricity sector is going to be run as efficiently as possible so that the end users, your consumers, your Lebanese people, your hospitals, your other institutions can get the benefit of sustainable electricity.  This is not an easy exercise, especially not right now, given all the other complications in the world and the disruptions to the world energy markets because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine–which is deplorable for other reasons.  But I want to acknowledge the ongoing communications between the Minister and his counterparts, and the other stakeholders in these deals. They are ongoing and they are productive and positive, and we look forward to a successful outcome.  Hang in there.  We have not given up hope and you shouldn’t either.  Thank you.