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Friday, 06 December 2019

In Photos: Egypt marks 150th anniversary of Suez Canal establishment

Since the Suez Canal opened in 1869, 1.3 million ships carrying 28.6 million tonnes passed through the waterway, bringing in revenues worth $135.9 billion.

MENA , Ahram Online , MENA , Ahram Online , Monday 18 Nov 2019
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The ceremony marking the 150th anniversary of the Suez Canal with ministers and foreign dignitaries in attendance (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Head of the Suez Canal Authority Osama Rabie and Egypt's Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enani attended on Sunday a ceremony celebrqating the 150th anniversary of the Suez Canal, which was inaugurated on 17 November 1869.

The ceremony, held in the Suez Canal governorate of Ismalia, was attended by the French ambassador, the Panamanian ambassador, the honorary president of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs Abdel-Raouf El-Reedy, Prince Hussein Toson, representatives of international shipping and maritime agencies, members of the Ferdinand de Lesseps Association, and local and international press.

Rabei said on Monday that the vital international waterway has achieved unprecedented profits thanks to its new expansion project, which was inaugurated by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in 2015.

Since the Suez Canal opened to for maritime navigation in 1869, 1.3 million ships carrying 28.6 million tonnes passed through the waterway, bringing in revenues worth $135.9 billion, Rabei explained.

Thanks to adding the extra lane to the canal, the transit duration has been reduced from 22 to 11 hours, Rabei said.

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Oil tanker Bunga Kasturi sails through the Suez Canal as Egypt celebrates the 150th anniversary of the canal opening in Ismailia, Egypt November 17, 2019. (REUTERS)

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Container ship RDO Concord sails through the Suez Canal as Egypt celebrates the 150th anniversary of the canal opening in Ismailia, Egypt November 17, 2019. (REUTERS)

Rabei pointed out that 24 percent of world maritime trade passes through the strategic waterway every year.

The Suez Canal, a vital artery for global trade, was inaugurated 150 years ago.

It was dug between 1859 and 1869 to connect the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, greatly reducing shipping times for the growing international trade between Europe and Asia.

Around 1 million Egyptian workers took part in the digging of the canal, and around 100,000 died in the process.

Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal in 1956.

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A container ship of China Shipping Line sails through the Suez Canal as Egypt celebrates the 150th anniversary of the canal opening in Ismailia, Egypt November 17, 2019. (REUTERS)

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Container ship RDO Concord sails through the Suez Canal as Egypt celebrates the 150th anniversary of the canal opening in Ismailia, Egypt November 17, 2019. (REUTERS)

Rabei stressed the authority's keenness to improve logistics and maritime services by carrying out several projects to develop navigation in the canal.

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This picture taken on November 17, 2019 shows the Portugal-flagged container ship MSC Giulia sailing through Egypt's Suez Canal in the canal's central hub city of Ismailia on the 150th anniversary of the canal's inauguration. (AFP)

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Cars drive through "Tahia Masr" tunnel which passes under the Suez Canal, in Ismailia, Egypt November 17, 2019. (REUTERS)

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