The rise in piracy off the coasts of Somalia has shaken confidence in the Suez Canal as a safe passage linking the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea and has prompted shipping companies to seek out alternative routes that avoid the dangerous East African Horn waters.
The Egyptian government privately fears a downturn in revenues from the canal, which along with tourism, oil and gas receipts, is a hefty foreign currency spinner.
Analysts at the London-based Chatham House foreign policy think tank have warned that if strong measures are not immediately taken, safe shipping through the Suez Canal could effectively be cut off. They called for further maritime reinforcements to be deployed in the seas around the Horn of Africa in order to preempt piracy, which has risen to record levels.
Egypt earns up to $500 million a month from ships passing through the water corridor that links the Indian Ocean with European markets via the Red Sea and Mediterranean.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The Middle East Times seems to think so Somali Piracy Shakes Confidence in Suez Canal Route: