Egypt’s Sisi says stranded cargo ship reaffirmed importance of Suez Canal

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Tuesday that the grounding of a huge container
ship in the Suez Canal had reaffirmed the importance of the waterway.

“We didn’t hope for something like this, but fate was doing its work. It showed and reaffirmed the reality and importance” of the canal, Sisi said as he greeted staff on a visit to the Suez Canal Authority in Ismailia.

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The Suez Canal expects to see 140 more ships pass through the waterway on Tuesday after traffic restarted overnight following the release of a grounded container ship, its chairman said.

Shipping convoys through the canal resumed on Monday evening after tugs pulled the 400-meter-long (430-yard) Ever Given container carrier free from the spot where it became wedged on March 23.

The Ever Given’s stranding across a southern section of the canal forced a halt to all traffic, leading to a build-up of 422 ships at either end of the canal and along its course.

Suez Canal Authority chairman Osama Rabie said 95 ships would pass by 1900 local time (1700 GMT) on Tuesday and a further 45 by midnight, reasserting that he hoped a backlog caused by the blockage would be cleared in three to four days.

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Over 400 ships waiting to pass through Suez Canal after Ever Given freed: Egypt media