09:49 GMT24 November 2020
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    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi officially opened a ceremony to unveil a major expansion to the Suez Canal, a Sputnik correspondent reported Thursday.

    ISMAILIA (Sputnik), Svetlana Alexandrova — A flotilla of ships led by Sisi on the Egyptian Royal Yacht Mahroussa passed through the New Suez Canal to mark the occasion of the opening, mooring off the coast of Ismailia Governorate and welcoming numerous guests at the ceremony.

    French President Francois Hollande, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, Chinese Culture Minister Luo Shugang, as well as several African leaders, attended the New Suez Canal opening ceremony.

    The opening of the New Suez Canal, parallel to the original canal built 146 years ago, was announced in August, 2014, intending to cut ship transit time between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea from 22 to 11 hours, and create more jobs in Egypt.

    The new 44.7-mile channel is part of the development of the surrounding area into an industrial, commercial and logistics hub that will include the construction of additional ports and improved shipping services.


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