Timeline Of The Suez Canal

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1869 – Suez Canal opens after 10 years of construction at a cost of $100 million, it is owned by Egypt and France.

1875 – Egypt is forced to sell its shares (44%) of the Suez Canal Company to United Kingdom due to mounting debt.

1922 – Egypt becomes independent from the UK

1952 – Egyptian Revolution deposing monarchy and installing Muhammad Naguib in power.

1954 – General Gamal Abdel Nasser gains de facto control of Egypt after deposing his fellow Free Officer, Naguib.

1955 – Nasser announces trade and military deals with communist nations such as
Czechoslovakia and China; Soviet Union expresses willingness to sell Nasser as many weapons as he desired.


• July 26 – The President of Egypt Gamal Nasser announces the nationalization of the Suez Canal. This is followed by the refusal of funding the Aswan Dam Project by the United States of America and the Britain. They blamed the state of the Egyptian Economy but many believe that it had more to do with Egypt’s decision to recognize China and buy weapons from Czechoslovakia, which at that time was controlled by the Soviet Union.

• August 1- Britain, USA and France hold emergency talks on the emerging crisis.

• August 2 – Britain mobilizes armed forces, after freezing Egyptian assets.

• August 16- An International Conference of 22 nations held in London on the Suez Crisis. Egypt is absent for the conference. Although no communiqué is issued at the end of the conference 18 nations agree a way forward based on the idea of international management of the canal.

• August 21 – Egypt declares it is willing to negotiate ownership of Suez Canal if Britain withdraws from Middle East.

• September 2 – Eisenhower issues communiqué to Eden declaring the US would not supp...

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...greed reluctantly to withdraw its troops under further (mainly economic) pressure from the US. (Britain was dependent on the US for the survival of the survival of the British pound).

• December 23- British and French troops complete withdrawal.
The UNEF takes control of the Suez Canal as British and French troops complete their withdrawal. Egyptians celebrate in Port Said chanting "Long live Nasser".

• January 9, 1957: British Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden resigns citing ill health but widely believed to have quit over Suez.
The Prime Minister announces his resignation saying he has been advised by doctors to take more rest. At the height of the Suez Crisis he went abroad to recuperate after falling ill. Although he retains his personal popularity his reputation as a statesman has been badly damaged by the Suez Crisis and his resignation seems inevitable.
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