Egyptian PM discuss with Maersk officials Houthi Red Sea attacks’ impact on Suez Canal

Ahram Online , Wednesday 10 Jan 2024

Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly discussed the impact of Houthi attacks on shipping in the Red Sea on the Suez Canal with Maersk Group officials, including CEO Vincent Clerc, during a video-conference on Wednesday, the Egyptian Cabinet announced.

Suez canal
File Photo: A container carrier passing through the Suez canal. Photo courtesy of SCA.


During the conference, Clerc emphasized the importance providing protection to ships in the Red Sea amid the Houthi attacks, particularly in the Bab Al-Mandeb Strait.

The CEO of the Danish shipping giant also discussed the negative repercussions of these attacks on the global economy.

Clerc expressed appreciation for Egypt's continuous efforts to stop the war in Gaza.

Both Clerc and Madbouly affirmed their respective sides’ commitment to continuing mutual cooperation.

The Maersk Group officials expressed their anticipation to resume maritime journeys through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal at the earliest opportunity, considering the cost and time advantages of the canal.

Ten days ago, Maersk announced that it was rerouting all container vessels away from Red Sea routes, opting to circumnavigate Africa's Cape of Good Hope for the foreseeable future following another Houthi attack on one of its vessels.

The discussion was also attended by Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Osama Rabie.

Rabie expressed the SCA’s anticipation for the return of security and stability to the Bab Al-Mandeb region in light of recent events. The authority also expressed a desire to increase collaboration with the Maersk Group.

According to statements by Rabie earlier in January, the impact of Houthi attacks had been so far “minimal.”

From his side, Prime Minister Madbouly emphasized the central role of maritime security in the Red Sea for Egyptian national security, given its close connection to the Suez Canal.

He stated that Egypt closely monitors the developments in the Red Sea and is concerned about the potential transformation of the area into a new regional conflict zone.

He highlighted Egypt's efforts to stop the current war in Gaza and its direct impact on regional and international security and economy.

He emphasized that Cairo's endeavours align with a comprehensive vision for resolving the Palestinian issue through a two-state solution, establishing a Palestinian state based on the borders of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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