Egypt starts digging new section of Suez Canal

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Egypt starts digging new section of Suez Canal
Iranian patrol frigate Alvand transits through the Suez Canal on February 22, 2011 bound, along with support ship Kharg, for the Mediterranean Sea on a purported training mission that Israel regards as a provocation. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
A convoy of container ships pass southbound along the Suez Canal towards Suez, Egypt, on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Maersk Line, the world's biggest container shipping company, will stop plying through the Panama Canal to move goods from Asia to the U.S. east coast as bigger ships help the company move it profitably through Suez Canal. Photographer: Kristian Helgesen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The Ebba Maersk container ship, operated by A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, arrives at Suez port after passing southbound though the Suez Canal in Suez, Egypt, on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Maersk Line, the world's biggest container shipping company, will stop plying through the Panama Canal to move goods from Asia to the U.S. east coast as bigger ships help the company move it profitably through Suez Canal. Photographer: Kristian Helgesen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Shipping containers stand aboard a vessel passing through the Suez Canal in Egypt on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Maersk Line, the world's biggest container shipping company, will stop plying through the Panama Canal to move goods from Asia to the U.S. east coast as bigger ships help the company move it profitably through Suez Canal. Photographer: Kristian Helgesen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The Ebba Maersk container ship, operated by A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, leaves Suez port and heads towards the Red Sea after passing through the Suez Canal in Suez, Egypt on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Maersk Line, the world's biggest container shipping company, will stop plying through the Panama Canal to move goods from Asia to the U.S. east coast as bigger ships help the company move it profitably through Suez Canal. Photographer: Kristian Helgesen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Northbound commercial shipping is seen from the bridge of the Ebba Maersk container ship, operated by A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, on the Great Bitter Lake during its southbound passage along the Suez Canal in Egypt on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Maersk Line, the world's biggest container shipping company, will stop plying through the Panama Canal to move goods from Asia to the U.S. east coast as bigger ships help the company move it profitably through Suez Canal. Photographer: Kristian Helgesen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The propeller wash of the Ebba Maersk container ship, operated by A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, is seen as it passes southbound on the Great Bitter Lake during its passage through the Suez Canal in Egypt on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Maersk Line, the world's biggest container shipping company, will stop plying through the Panama Canal to move goods from Asia to the U.S. east coast as bigger ships help the company move it profitably through Suez Canal. Photographer: Kristian Helgesen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Shipping containers stand aboard the Ebba Maersk, operated by A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, as it approaches Suez port at the end of its southbound passage through the Suez Canal in Egypt on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Maersk Line, the world's biggest container shipping company, will stop plying through the Panama Canal to move goods from Asia to the U.S. east coast as bigger ships help the company move it profitably through Suez Canal. Photographer: Kristian Helgesen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A Danish flag flies from the stern of the Ebba Maersk container ship, operated by A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, during its southbound passage along the Suez Canal in Egypt on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Maersk Line, the world's biggest container shipping company, will stop plying through the Panama Canal to move goods from Asia to the U.S. east coast as bigger ships help the company move it profitably through Suez Canal. Photographer: Kristian Helgesen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The Ebba Maersk container ship, operated by A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, leaves Suez port and heads towards the Red Sea after passing through the Suez Canal in Suez, Egypt on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Maersk Line, the world's biggest container shipping company, will stop plying through the Panama Canal to move goods from Asia to the U.S. east coast as bigger ships help the company move it profitably through Suez Canal. Photographer: Kristian Helgesen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PORT SAID, EGYPT - MARCH 9: Egyptian soldiers stand guard at the Suez Canal as Port Said residents look on after the announcement of the final verdict in the case of the Port Said football massacre, on March 9, 2013, in Port Said, Egypt. Over seventy football fans of the Al Masry team were killed during a stadium brawl that took place after a match between the Al Masry and Al Ahly teams in the northern Egyptian city in February 2012. Two senior police officers, the Port Said Security Director Essam Samak and head of the Port Said Water Bodies Security Department, Mohammed Saad, received 15 year sentences, while seven other police officers were acquitted. Five Port Said citizens received life sentences on Saturday, and twenty one civilian death sentences handed down in a January ruling on the same case were confirmed. (Photo by Ed Giles/Getty Images).
Boats are harbored in the port of the Suez Canal city of Port Said on March 8, 2013. AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI (Photo credit should read KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on March 8, 2013 shows the American destroyer USS Winston Churchill crossing the Suez canal off the coast of Ismailia port city, east of Cairo. The carrier USS John Stennis, along with several destroyers and other ships (including the Winston Churchill), is currently patrolling the strategic waters near Iran's coast. It is due to be relieved by another aircraft carrier, the USS Dwight Eisenhower, which is now in the Mediterranean. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
The British destroyer HMS Diamond sails through the Suez Canal on December 2, 2012, close to the port city of Ismailia, some 120 km north east of the capital Cairo, as it sails from the Red Sea towards the Mediterranean on its way backs home after months in Arabia Sea and Gulf of Aden where she took part in war games with American navy war ships of the 5th Fleet. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranian supply ship 'Kharq' sent by Tehran to the Mediterranean to help 'train the Syrian navy', enters the Suez Canal early on February 21, 2012, on its way back to Iran. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
The USS Kearsarge warship transits through the Suez Canal in the Egyptian port of Ismailia on March 02, 2011 carrying marines and equipment en route to Libya, as the United States and Europe piled pressure on Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi. AFP PHOTO/ STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranian naval support ship Kharg transits through the Suez Canal on February 22, 2011 bound, along with patrol frigate Alvand, for the Mediterranean Sea on a purported training mission that Israel regards as a provocation. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
EGYPT - MAY 27: Ship in transit through the Suez Canal (Qanat as-Suways), Egypt. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
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CAIRO (AP) - Egypt's president has inaugurated the digging of a new section of the Suez Canal, a $4 billion military-led project to expand a key corridor of world trade that he says will be finished next year.

As warplanes flew overhead in a ceremony broadcast on state television from the canal city of Ismailia on Tuesday, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said that the new 35-kilometer segment is part of several planned mega projects to boost the country's dilapidated economy. Egypt also plans another canal project that includes free trade zones to draw investment.

Egypt is the gatekeeper of the Suez Canal, one of the world's busiest water corridors and the strategic link between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. It is one of Egypt's main sources of revenue, generating annual revenues of $5 billion.


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