The Suez Canal: A Route for Cultivating the Peace with Egypt

Source: The Institute for National Security Studies

Author(s): Ofir Winter

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Egypt is currently marking the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Suez Canal. The centrality of the Canal has increased since August 2015, when President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi inaugurated the New Suez Canal – an engineering project intended to increase the revenues from the Canal. An interim evaluation of the project and the efforts at development of the Suez Canal Economic Zone indicates successes alongside disappointments, and sheds light on the challenges awaiting Egypt in the coming years. These challenges include: the mobilization of investments for the development of the Canal Economic Zone; the reduction of bureaucratic impediments facing investors; and the training of a suitable workforce. Israel and Egypt have a common interest in nurturing and intensifying their relations surrounding the Canal along the following channels: secured shipping in the Canal and along the maritime routes leading to it, in the face of possible threats from Salafist-jihadist terrorist forces and from Iran and its proxies; the expansion of economic cooperative efforts in the industrial zones along the Canal; and the initiation of urgent regional activity aimed at reducing the ecological damage caused by the invasion of species from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea via the Canal.

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