Friday, July 07, 2017

The construction of Suez Canal in Egypt

The Suez Canal is in Egypt. It extends 163 km through a narrow piece of land called the Isthmus of Suez between Port Said on the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Suez at the north end of the Red Sea, opened in 1869.

Before the Suez Canal was built, ships sailing between the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean had to sail all the way around the southern tip of Africa.

On 15 November 1854 the French diplomat and engineer Vicomte Ferdinand Marie de Lesseps, who had long championed a canal across the isthmus, approached Egypt’s new ruler, his old friend khedive Said, with a plan privately devised by a French engineer in Mohammmed-Ali’s service.
By the end of the month de Lesseps was granted a decree allowing him to dig the canal and manage it for ninety-nine years. A French-owned company, Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez built the Suez Canal between 1859 and 1869.

 The canal opened to sea traffic on November 17, 1869. For many years France and Great Britain together owned the canal. They agreed that the canal should be open to ships of all countries in times of both peace and war.

Transit through Egypt to India and the Far East had grown rapidly after the introduction of Steamship services in the Red Sea in the 1840s; the canal lead to even more traffic, avoiding the long Cape route by traveling through Egypt.

 In July 1956 Egypt’s President Nasser, in response to the British, French, and US refusal of loans for the Aswan High Dam, nationalized the canal. France and Britain, helped by Israel, tried to take back the canal by force. They failed Suez
The construction of Suez Canal in Egypt
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