SCA chairman Osama Rabie, US ambassador discuss avenues of cooperation

Mohamed Hamouda , Wednesday 31 Jan 2024

The Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), Osama Rabie, discussed with the US Ambassador to Cairo, Herro Mustafa Garg, the latest developments in the Southern Sector Development Project of the Suez Canal, which will increase navigation safety in the canal by 28 percent.

Suez Canal
Chairman of the Suez Canal welcomes US Ambassador Herro Mustafa Garg in the canal s HQ in Port Said. Courtesy of the SCA Facebook page.

 

Rabie highlighted that the first phase of the project concluded with expanding the canal's eastern side by 40 kilometres to become 162 kilometres instead of 132  kilometres previously.

He added that the work is currently underway to complete the second phase of the development project to double the canal's capacity from 122 kilometres to 132 kilometres.

According to a statement by the Suez Canal Authority, Rabie's remarks came during a meeting on Wednesday with the US Ambassador to Cairo and a high-level delegation to discuss avenues for cooperation.

The US ambassador, who is visiting the Suez Canal for the first time since she assumed her duties in November 2023, said the purpose of her visit is to become better acquainted with the canal and its developmental projects.

Rabie explained to Garg that Egypt successfully achieved an unprecedented leap in the infrastructure projects associated with developing the navigational course of the Suez Canal and the logistical and industrial zone surrounding it.

He also outlined the authority's strategy to declare the Suez Canal a "Green Canal" by 2030 through adopting environmentally friendly policies and projects as part of Egypt's efforts towards green transformation.

During the meeting, Rabie emphasized that the challenges in the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait underscore the strategic importance of the Suez Canal as a vital pillar for the stability and sustainability of global supply chains.

He further elaborated that the navigation movement through the canal is an inseparable part of the global trade movement that reflects its growth or decline. Rabie affirmed that the Suez Canal continues to provide its navigation and maritime services despite the current challenges.

He had stressed on 25 January that navigation through the canal is running regularly and has never halted, not even for a single day, since the onset of the Red Sea and Bab el-Mandeb Strait’s crisis.

Houthi rebels in Yemen have launched several attacks against Israel-linked shipping near the strategic Bab el-Mandeb strait in the crucial maritime route, citing Israel's brutal war on Gaza as the pretext for their attacks.

In retaliation, the US and the UK launched strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen.

Rabie had also said several shipping firms have suspended all journeys through the Red Sea, preferring Africa’s Cape of Good Hope route. Such rerouting, he said, caused a 30 percent decline in the number of ships passing through the Suez Canal compared to the same period last year.

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