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With the energy crisis plaguing the country, Lebanon's Ministry of Energy and Water in Beirut was stormed by protesters on Thursday.
Protesting power cuts and the fact that most Lebanese cannot afford to pay private generators' rates, the protesters stormed the institution, demanding to meet with the Lebanese Minister of Energy and Water, Walid Fayyad.
Clashes broke out between employees and demonstrators as employees prevented entry to the building. Internal security forces did not allow access to the ministry's office floors. Lebanese Army Commander General Joseph Aoun said the security forces "will not allow chaos or fighting to make its way into our country."
This incident followed Lebanese Energy and Water Minister Walid Fayyad's declaration to accept any offer by the international community to resolve the energy crisis, including the supply of fuel from Iran.
The secretary general of the Lebanese political party Islamic Resistance Movement (Hezbollah), Hassan Nasrallah, proposed to bring fuel from Iran to Lebanon's power plants free of charge, as long as the government agrees.
According to Fayyad, the Ministry of Energy is pursuing efforts to improve the national electricity system by working with Iraq to increase fuel supplies and engaging in communication with Algeria, seeking alternatives to resolve the crisis.
Based on an agreement signed Last June 21 by Lebanon with Egypt and Syria on importing gas through Syria and another deal on transferring electricity from Jordan, the country expects to increase its power supply to about 10 hours per day over the current two.
Lebanon has been experiencing an indefinite strike by public sector employees over non-inclusion in public institutions and independent interests for almost five months. The Lebanese Union of Electricity Workers and Employees announced Thursday it was joining the strike.
General Union of Workers President Bechara Al-Asmar requested the public sector to return to work after the indefinite strike.
"Another decree will be issued next week that will equate public institutions, independent interests, municipalities, government hospitals, social security and Télé Liban with the public sector, in terms of production subsidy," Bechara Al-Asmar said.