Will the New Suez Canal Revive Nasser’s Spirit Against the British Empire?

Supporters of the New Suez Canal know the difference between the national tradition of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser (1956-’70), who nationalized the Suez Canal in 1956, and the British Empire’s use of debt to enslave the country.

Ahmed Al-Sayed El-Nagar, Chief Economist for the Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, wrote in Thursday’s issue of the pro-government daily Al Ahram, why it is so important to fund the canal with debt certificates that can only be bought by Egyptian citizens, rather than foreign lenders or shareholders.

“The overall cost of the project is LE67 billion [Egyptian pounds] and the mechanism for funding will decide whether the project will revive the spirit of 1956, when the late leader Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal and took it back from the claws of global capitalism that had usurped it through conspiracy, fraud and aggression. Or, whether the overall sentiment will be similar to when the canal was being dug by foreign funds that landed Egypt in the trap of foreign debt, that concluded with criminal British colonial occupation of Egypt. Therefore, it is important from the start to ensure that funding for constructing the canal is 100% Egyptian, while Arab and foreign capital would later finance industrial and service projects. The old canal and the new project must remain entirely Egyptian.

“The president [Abdel Fattah el-Sisi] has reiterated the Egyptian identity of the canal and reliance on public shares as a main mechanism for funding, and on national banks and government funding. This spotlights the great difference between the new project that holds great hope for Egypt, and the project of the removed President [Morsi] that would have catastrophically resulted in truncating the Suez Canal region from Egypt for the benefit of global capitalism and sacks of money from Qatar and the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The “project of the removed President” refers to a law proposed by the ousted Muslim Brotherhood-led government of Mohammed Morsi, which was supposed to regulate the development of the Suez Canal Region, but would have turned it into a “private emirate” of President Morsi’s. The law, on the pretext of attracting foreign investment, would have put the region under a legal regime outside the Egyptian Constitution and would have given Morsi, as President, power to do almost anything in the zone; it would have endangered the security of Egypt.

El-Nagar also wrote that Al Ahram daily would, free of charge, promote the sale of debt certificates to the public “to build this giant national project that is a main gateway for Egypt’s economic boom to summon all the savings capacity of the great people of Egypt, at home and abroad, to build the future, destiny and path for their country with the money, brains and achievements of its people. This is how great nations build their glory.”

Bedouins To Secure Suez Canal Project Facilities for Free

Now the Bedouin tribes in Suez and Ain Sokhna, southwest of Port Suez, have announced that they will secure development projects in the Suez Canal Corridor for free, because they want to contribute to the building of Egypt. This was announced by Sheikh Mohamed Khudair, chieftain of el-Alamein tribe, in Ain Sokhna on Aug. 27.

According to MENA, the state news agency, Sheikh Khudair said they informed city officials of their decision in order to contribute to the development of Egypt and encourage the flow of investments. He also thanked the Third Field Army for building a number of projects that will serve Bedouin tribes and improve their living conditions.

This is another of many small victories in the fight for this mega-project, since Bedouin tribesmen often run smuggling operations and cooperate with terrorists in the Sinai; now, they are participating in building the canal.

Around 17.5 million cubic meters of material have been dug so far at the newly launched Suez Canal Project, said military spokesman Brig. Mohamed Samir.; in addition, some 52 companies are now working at the project site. He added that new equipment imported from abroad for the project had arrived.

Meanwhile the dispute among Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan over Ethiopia’s construction of its Grand Renaissance Dam on the Nile, could be on its way to resolution. In a meeting among the water ministers of the three countries on Aug. 26 in Khartoum, Sudan, a joint statement was signed, agreeing to a mechanism to achieve the recommendations, which include having the three countries conduct additional studies to be concluded within six months. The recommendation was made by the experts group, comprised of experts from the three countries and from other countries, who have been reviewing the project.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Water Resources Minister Hossam Moghazy accepted his Ethiopian counterpart Ato Alemayehu Tegenu’s request for him to visit the dam site. He said that the visit will strengthen confidence between the two countries through ensuring that Ethiopia will not collect the Nile water.

“The storage capacity of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam at its first stage will reach 14 billion square meters of water, which does not cause much harm to Egypt,” he said. “If studies indicate any harm before the second stage, they will be undoubtedly considered by Ethiopia,” the minister said, adding that adherence to “recommendations of technical experts is mandatory and is accepted by Ethiopia.”

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