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The Suez canal as a geo-strategic point
Material posted: Publication date: 15-11-2014

Mediterranean sea since ancient times is the center of conflicts and wars with the sole purpose to control and manage one of the most important regions of the world. Moreover, all empires had been built around him. The Suez canal connects the Red and Mediterranean seas and is considered the border between the two continents Africa and Eurasia.

The Suez canal allows ships without rounding Africa to sail the shortest route in the Northern hemisphere between the ports of the Atlantic and Indian oceans. The Suez crisis of 1956 is a turning point in the evolution of international relations in the post-war period and the cold war. The tension in one form or another has been in the region since the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948-1949 In 1956 changed the form that turned a regional conflict into an international problem.

On the Suez canal accounts for 8% of world trade. All States want to play a major role in the Mediterranean. As new global rules require to save time, money and most importantly to have a sense of security, there is no other way apart from creating new and healthy agreements to ensure the ongoing development changes. Middle East is an area of great risk and there is always the threat of supply disruptions and as a result increasing prices for goods. Currently, the ships have to wait long, when they can go to the channel and their capacity is small, so it is necessary to build a second Suez canal parallel to the existing one, which will lead to:

  • fast and cheaper delivery of goods;
  • revenues for the Egyptian state from transit charges.
  • the security of the Mediterranean sea.

Fast and cheaper delivery of goods. The closest ports from the Suez canal are Piraeus and Thessaloniki, so for all economically more beneficial to intergovernmental agreement was signed with Greece. Under the agreement, the ships will be able to pass through the new Suez canal and ship goods to ports and from there to distribute them by rail to Western and Eastern Europe. This will give the possibility not to round the Gibraltar channel, which will lead to reduced costs and time savings. Compared to the current cost of transportation is reduced by 30% and delivery time will be reduced to 15 days.[1]

Revenue growth for the Egyptian state from transit fees. At present, the existing the Suez canal is the most important income of the Egyptian economy. With the construction of the second channel will increase the number of boats that can pass through the Suez canal. Will automatically increase and revenues of the Egyptian state. According to the President of Egypt Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi, the income from the two channels reached before 2023 13 billion dollars.

The security of the Mediterranean sea. Constantinople Convention (1888) guarantee free and safe navigation through the Suez canal, both in peacetime and in wartime.[2] However, the channel stopped working during the "Suez crisis" (October 1956 to April 1957) and during the "six day war" (June 1967. up to 1975).

Now if you stop working channel, the consequences for the world economy will be huge, as this will cause an immediate and significant increase in hydrocarbon prices, particularly oil. In addition will be an adverse impact on international transport and the economy of Egypt, which receives about $ 5 billion annually from the transit of merchant ships.

While the sanctions by EU and US pressure on Russia, Vladimir Putin with President of Egypt Abdel Fathom Al-Sisi make a checkmate. Both sides consider the possibility of establishing a free trade zone, which will seek to organize industrial center in Egypt within the framework of building the second Suez canal. Also considered between the two countries to create a logistics centre on the Black sea.

With the intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Egypt, Russia will participate in one of the most important regions and to enhance its role on the geopolitical map. Russia will take responsibility 100% for the construction of the channel and thus controls the global trade in the Northern hemisphere. This can be a sore point on the world stage on the one hand, and on the other hand, the problem of the Suez canal requires a holistic look at the region and find a compromise that was beneficial to all or to reduce existing risks.

Today Egypt cannot guarantee safety, therefore, this intergovernmental agreement will create a solid Foundation for the development of this strategically important region.

 

Dactylic Anna

 

Sources

  1. http://www.suezcanal.gov.eg/calc.aspx
  2. http://www.suezcanal.gov.eg/sc.aspx?show=37

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