Egyptians cheer as Suez Canal traffic jam eases

Cairo’s economic interests and national pride converge in the linchpin of global trade

30 March 2021 - 21:05 By Heba Saleh and Harry Dempsey

For more than half a century Egyptian navigation pilots kept the Suez Canal running smoothly, defying colonial powers’ predictions when Cairo nationalised the vital trade artery in 1956.

So when Ever Given, a colossal container ship, ran aground, it was a matter of national pride to get it moving. With hundreds of big ships piled up at the entrance of the waterway, a linchpin of global trade, Egypt’s canal authorities faced their toughest peacetime challenge, one in which both the country’s economic interests and its national prestige are bound up...

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