Egypt to open Suez Canal expansion

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Egypt is to inaugurate on Thursday a major expansion of the Suez Canal, with the government hoping the project will boost the country’s flagging economy.

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President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi will be joined by foreign dignitaries at a grand opening ceremony for the new shipping route in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya. French President Francois Hollande has confirmed his attendance at the gala alongside other political leaders from Cyprus, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait and Sudan, according to local media.

The government has declared Thursday a public holiday. Train journeys will also be free on the day to give people the chance to celebrate what pro-government media have dubbed “Egypt’s gift to the world”.

 The nation is preparing for street celebrations to mark the event and main squares have been colourfully decorated with lights and the national flag.

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