Cyprus Mail

Demetriades to represent Cyprus at Suez re-opening

Transport, Communications and Works Minister Marios Demetriades will represent President Nicos Anastasiades at the inaugural ceremony of the Suez Canal, the government said on Wednesday.

Demetriades was due to depart for Egypt on Wednesday to take part in the ceremony on Thursday, and return to Cyprus on Friday.

Egypt announced at the end of July that it had finished building its New Suez Canal, a project President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi sees as a symbol of national pride and a major chance to stimulate an economy suffering double-digit unemployment.

The army led work 11 months ago on the $8-billion canal, flanking the existing, 145-year-old waterway and part of a larger undertaking to expand trade along the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia.

The Suez Canal is a vital source of hard currency for Egypt, particularly since the 2011 uprising that scared off tourists and foreign investment.

“We have finished work on time and even before the specified time,” retired Admiral Mohab Mameesh, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, said at a news conference.

Sisi had ordered that the canal be completed within a year.

The new waterway will be officially unveiled at a lavish event to be attended by Sisi and foreign dignitaries on August 6. The first cargo ships passed through in a test-run during the last week of July.



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