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Algeria presidency: ‘Adulterated fuel is a Lebanese internal issue’

The Sonatrach headquarters in Algiers, Algeria [File photo]

A senior official in the Algerian presidency announced on Wednesday that the scandal of imported adulterated fuel from his country, which has recently surfaced in Lebanon, is an internal issue.

This was stated by Mohamed Al-Saeed, spokesman for the Algerian presidency, at a press conference in its headquarters in the capital, in response to a question on the issue.

At the end of April, Lebanese media reported the arrest of the representative of the Algerian company Sonatrach in the country, as well as 16 other people, on the issue of the delivery of a shipment that included low-quality fuel, for the benefit of the Lebanese government’s electricity company.

According to Al-Saeed: “This is an internal Lebanese issue, and the Algerian state is not involved and not concerned. There is a commercial company belonging to Sonatrach, which sold the fuel.”

“The President of the Republic Abdelmadjid Tebboune ordered the Ministry of Justice to open an investigation into the circumstances of the case. The judiciary will hold those proven to be involved accountable, yet we are certain that the Algerian state has nothing to do with this issue,” added Al-Saeed.

READ: Algerians say oil price crash shows need for reform

Sonatrach signed an agreement starting from January 2006 with the Lebanese Ministry of Energy to supply it with diesel and fuel oil.

After the issue surfaced in Lebanon, Sonatrach released a statement refuting: “False and untrue allegations about the involvement of its employees in Lebanon, in a dispute that the Lebanese justice is currently probing.”

“The issue of adulterated fuel is related to a dispute dating back to 30 March, when Sonatrach received notification from the Lebanese Ministry of Electricity and Water regarding a defect in the quality of one of the fuel shipments delivered to Lebanon’s electricity company on 25 of the same month,” explained Sonatrach.

The company expects a final settlement of the situation soon, given the distinguished relations that bind the two parties, adding: “We respect our contractual obligations regarding catering for Lebanon’s electricity company.”

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