By Arab News
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said on Thursday Egypt would defeat terrorism, as he inaugurated the New Suez Canal project and the first ship passed through the waterway.
“Egypt during this year stood against the most dangerous terrorist ideology, that would burn the world if it could,” he said at a lavish ceremony attended by world leaders. “We are fighting them and will defeat them.”
Western and Arab leaders attended the event in a show of support for El-Sisi.
President El-Sisi hopes the project, which was completed in just one year, would power an economic turnaround in Egypt.
“Work did not take place in normal circumstances, and these circumstances still exist and we are fighting them and we will defeat them,” El-Sisi said after signing an order allowing ships to cross the new stretch of waterway.
“Egypt during this year stood against the most dangerous terrorist threat that would burn the world if it could.”
The government believes the New Suez Canal and an industrial zone to be developed around it will seal Egypt’s deliverance from economic purgatory — to the skepticism of some.
The project involved extending a waterway parallel to part of the 19th century canal connecting the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, as well as deepening and widening the old channel — the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.
It has been billed as a national accomplishment on par with President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s nationalization of the original Suez Canal in 1956 and building of the Aswan Dam.