CAIRO – (AA) Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi appeared in a military outfit on Thursday ahead of the opening of a new shipping route of the Suez Canal.
Footage aired by state television showed Sisi arriving at the site of the celebration in the canal city of Ismailiya in a military uniform amid tight security measures.
Later, he changed into a civilian suit as he prepares to officially open the project, which is touted by Egyptian authorities as “Egypt’s gift to the world”.
The project includes a 35-km (22-mile) parallel waterway flanking the existing 145-year-old waterway.
It also includes the deepening and widening of 37 km of the existing canal, which will cut transit times and allow larger vessels easier passage.
The government hopes that the project will double the country’s Suez Canal earnings from the current $5.3 billion per year to some $13 billion annually.
However, some analysts and economists say the mega-project may fail to meet the great expectations.
A former army chief, Sisi unseated Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, in a military coup two years ago following protests against his rule.
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