Egypt's Suez Canal has become an entrenched part of the global trade networks, despite the existence of alternative routes, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said yesterday.
"The canal crisis was something that we didn't want, but this was fate," Sisi told journalists during his visit to the canal a day after the stranded MV Ever Given was refloated on Monday. "It affirmed the major role and significance of the canal over the past 150 years."
The Egyptian leader stressed that the recent crisis had shown the canal's "strong impact on global trade." He noted that 13 per cent of the total global trade passed through Suez.
"This was a blessing in disguise, and this incident showed that the canal is enduring and competing," he claimed. He also pointed out that the crisis was resolved without any "human or material damage."
On preventing similar situations with other ships, Sisi said that his government would "immediately purchase the necessary equipment regardless of the cost and circumstances."
Critics have blamed the incident entirely on the corruption and inefficiency of the Sisi regime, rather than "fate". The grounding of the Ever Given was, said one, an "accident waiting to happen".