A goodwill gesture over electricity sows discord in Lebanon

This July 16, 2018 photo, shows a privately-owned power station, in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon. (AP)
Updated 10 August 2018
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A goodwill gesture over electricity sows discord in Lebanon

  • A goodwill gesture to power-starved Lebanon from an energy company in Turkey has backfired
  • The barge’s arrival opened a Pandora’s box of partisan mudslinging in a country hobbled by political sectarianism and dysfunction

BEIRUT: A goodwill gesture to power-starved Lebanon from an energy company in Turkey has backfired, igniting mudslinging and corruption allegations.
This summer, the Karadeniz Energy Group lent Lebanon a floating power station to generate electricity at below-market rates to help ease the strain on the country’s woefully under-maintained power sector.
Instead, the barge’s arrival opened a Pandora’s box of partisan mudslinging in a country hobbled by political sectarianism and dysfunction.
There’ve been rows over where it should dock, how to allocate its 235 megawatts of power, and even what to call the barge.
It’s even driven a wedge between Lebanon’s two dominant Shiite Muslim parties: Amal and the militant Hezbollah.
Lebanon has faced rolling blackouts for decades and outages in the south can stretch for more than 12 hours a day.


US wants to see a Yemen that is unified, stable and prosperous: ambassador

Updated 50 min 22 sec ago
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US wants to see a Yemen that is unified, stable and prosperous: ambassador

  • “We are making every effort to end the conflict in Yemen,” Tueller told a press conference in Aden
  • The ceasefire deal laid out the de-escalation of conflict in Hodeidah as an important first step for sustainable peace in Yemen

DUBAI: US Ambassador to Yemen Matthew H. Tueller on Tuesday said Washington was concerned about the situation in Yemen even as he reiterated the US’s continued support of the Yemeni government.
“We are making every effort to end the conflict in Yemen,” Tueller told a press conference in Aden, emphasizing Washington’s interest on Yemen’s unity and stability.
Tueller also expressed frustration by the delays and stalling by the Iran-backed Houthis in implementing the ceasefire agreement signed in Stockholm in December.
The ceasefire deal laid out the de-escalation of conflict in Hodeidah as an important first step for sustainable peace in Yemen.
“Some Yemeni groups are threatening neighboring countries with heavy weapons,” the American ambassador said, and he called for the adherence to international resolutions by banning the supply of weapons into the country.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on a regional tour to push for a greater role for the Middle East Strategic Alliance, a US-sponsored Arab NATO-style bloc aimed at uniting Washington’s Arab allies against Tehran.