Ever Given, the ship that blocked the vital Suez Canal waterway for almost a week, will remain in the hands of Egyptian authorities until compensation is paid to the country's officials, the Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), Osama Rabie, announced yesterday.
"We hope for a speedy agreement," Rabie told local media, adding that the "minute they agree to compensation, the vessel will be allowed to move."
The official pointed out that his team was not planning to resort to offloading the vessel, although Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi had asked him to prepare for such a scenario.
"The Suez Canal is safe and the armed forces are fully securing it," he stressed.
Last week, Rabie announced that the amount of compensation Egypt will seek for the grounded cargo ship crisis may exceed $1 billion.
Rabie pointed out that the SCA "managed to float the ship after six days without any loss of lives or damage to the vessel's equipment, but it was the Authority that lost millions of dollars every day."
The Suez Canal is one of the most important waterways in the world through which an estimated 12 per cent of world trade passes.