Suez Canal: Washington offers assistance

A photo of Joe Biden, the 46th president of the United States
Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The United States has offered to help re-float the ultra large container ship, the Ever Given, as shipping lines re-route their vessels to avoid the blocked Suez Canal.

Joe Biden has offered the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) help in re-floating the 20,388-TEU Ever Given, the massive container ship that went aground in the Suez Canal earlier this week, reports the Guardian.

The US president said on Friday that, “we have equipment and capacity that most countries don’t have. And we are seeing what help we can be.”

The SCA’s latest efforts to free the 400-metre-long vessel were paused on Friday evening and shipping companies have started to re-route their vessels around the Cape of Good Hope as ships back up at either end of the canal.

The SCA said: “[The SCA] looks forward to cooperating with the US in this regard in appreciation of this good initiative which confirms the friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries.”

It is not known what help the US might offer, but some in the shipping business have raised concerns that re-routing ships via the pirate-infested west coast of Africa may expose their vessels to greater risk and have asked the US Navy for support.

Turkey has also offered Egypt support and has offered to send a dredging vessel in what may be an attempt to repair strained relations between the two countries.

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