Update: Sisi: New Suez Canal to be inaugurated Aug 6
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi - YOUM7 (Archive)
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CAIRO: The New Suez Canal project will be inaugurated August 6 in the presence of a number of world leaders and heads of state, President Sisi announced in a televised address Tuesday evening.

The presidential address came almost a year into his tenure; the president announced the ambitious canal project in August 2014, and gave it a one-year deadline. The renovations to the crucial waterway allow for two-way traffic.

Declaring the opening date came in Sisi’s monthly speech in which he reviewed the progess of his administration so far.

“The dry digging in the new Suez Canal has been 100 percent completed,” Sisi said, adding that 65 percent of dredge works have been finished, recording the biggest rate in history with 1.7 million cubic meters annually with 39 dredges.

He announced that a number of fish farms in the eastern part of the Suez Canal will be inaugurated in August, including in Lake Bardawil located on the north coast of the Sinai peninsula.

“In the coming period we will talk about new development projects in the Sinai after getting rid of terrorism,” said Sisi.

The president also spoke about security, saying that Egypt’s military forces succeeded to eliminate 150 “terrorist hotbeds” and arrested 188 wanted terrorists in Sinai, adding that “80% of illegal tunnels in Rafah buffer zone along the Egyptian-Palestine borders have been destroyed.”

In April, 600 fugitive terrorists were arrested upon warrants form the prosecution, the president said. “Security also arrested 62 defendants with explosives and ammunition; they confiscated 122 explosive bombs,” he continued.

Housing

“Over the last 10 months, the Ministry of Housing built 70,000 housing units and delivered them to low-income people with 9.5 billion EGP in investments,” Sisi said.

Another 174,000 housing units will be completed by the end of this year with costs of 25 billion EGP, the president continued.

The Development of Villages project aims to develop 1,153 villages by 2018, noted Sisi, who also praised the “Listen to us… there is hope” initiative under which 20 villages in Upper Egypt developed over 4 months. He allocated 500 million EGP from the Long Live Egypt Fund for this youth’s initiative.
Agriculture, Electricity, and Petroleum
In light of carrying out cultivating million-acre project, 10,000 acres will be planted as an experimental model in the Farafra depression to be an eco-friendly village.

The wheat stocks have been increased by 210 percent, while sugar stocks increased to 1.6 million tons in the last period to meet the demand in the fasting months of Ramadan.

As for electricity, 3.6 gigawatt will be added in the national power network by this June.

Meanwhile petroleum projects of deportation, refinement have been implemented with costs of 31.3 billion EGP.

Foreign Policy in the Region and Africa
President Sisi said that Egyptian national security is “part and parcel” of regional security, therefore Egypt’s National Defense Council decided to extend sending Egyptian troops to Gulf area for three additional months.

He praised signing the declaration of the principle charter with Ethiopia and Sudan over the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, and also imentioned that Egypt will participate in African Summit Conference to be held in South Africa in June in light of enhancing cooperation with African countries.

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