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Celebrations begin to open New Suez Canal in Egypt

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Celebrations begin to open New Suez Canal in Egypt
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Extravagant celebrations have begun to inaugurate a major extension of the Suez Canal in Egypt.

The main waterway has been deepened and a 35km parallel channel opened to increase capacity to 97 boats per day.

Costing more than seven billion euros, the project was completed in just one year instead of three on the orders of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The former army chief sailed to Ismailia to join the leaders of France, Russia and Gulf Arab states for the ceremony.

The expansion aims to boost the economy which has been reeling from years of turmoil since the Arab Spring.

Thursday was declared a public holiday. State television broadcast shots of the new canal to the theme tune of US TV series Game of Thrones.