According to local media sites, Lebanon’s two major power plants shut down on Saturday owing to a fuel shortage, resulting in power disruptions throughout much of the nation.
According to Lebanon’s state-run NNA news agency, authorities are striving to “partially restore electricity to various Lebanese regions, by supplying production stations with fuel from the reserves available for extreme necessities.”
“Electricity will gradually return in the coming hours,” it added.
Local residents began cutting down roads in numerous regions in protest of the degradation of their living conditions as a result of the power outages, which also prompted water shortages, according to NNA.
According to the National News Agency, Minister of Energy and Water Walid Fayyad said on Friday, “Everyone is seriously working on this issue in order to secure additional… electricity for Lebanon.”
Israel is ready to redouble its efforts to resolve its dispute with Lebanon over the delimitation of their Mediterranean territorial seas, but it will not accept Beirut‘s terms of discussion, according to its energy minister.
The US-mediated negotiations began a year ago in an attempt to resolve the issue, which has stymied exploration in the potentially gas-rich area. In May, the talks came to a halt.
This month, US special envoy Amos Hochstein will visit both nations to try to re-energize the negotiations, precisely as Lebanon is seeking clarifications from the international community after Israel awarded an offshore drilling contract to US oilfield services firm Halliburton.
In a Reuters interview in Paris, Israel’s Karine Elharrar said, “We need to look for a solution that leads to a breakthrough and not try to think in the old ways of drawing lines.” She added that she will speak with Hochstein soon.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun stated at the end of the May discussions that there should be no preconditions. He rejected the US mediator’s proposal that negotiations take place on the basis of Israeli and Lebanese borderlines that have previously been filed and registered with the UN.
“We started (negotiations) by one line and then they (Lebanon) pushed the line. Pushing and pushing the lines literally,” Elharrar said. “It’s not the way to have a negotiation. They cannot dictate the lines.”
Earlier talks had come to a halt as each party submitted opposing maps depicting suggested borders that actually widened the disputed territory.
Israel currently extracts natural gas from vast offshore resources. Lebanon is experiencing its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war, as it has yet to discover commercial gas deposits in its own waters.
“We share a gas field and have to find a solution on how to use it so that each side will have its share of it in a fairway,” she said. “We are willing to give it another shot.”