The world's safest waterway...that is the claim some people are now making about the Suez?
GV Suez Canal Authority head-quarters in Ismalia
GV ZOOM FROM Palm trees TO ships involved in clearing operations
CU Kamal Hamza interviewed
GV HMS Abdiel moored
CU Commander Elliot speaking
(SEQ 3): REPORTER: "After the work of the British, French and American mine clearers, in collaboration with the Egyptian Navy, and of course with yourself and your colleagues, would you now describe the Canal as absolutely safe?"
KAMAL HAMZA: "Yes....it is safe...100 per cent."
REPORTER: "As you know, there is talk among some marine insurers of a war risk insurance--do you think this is really necessary?"
KAMAL HAMZA: "I would agree...it is safe under the circumstances concerning the waterway itself, and I think all ships should pass safely in the Canal."
Reporters also spoke to Commander David Elliot of the British Royal Navy:
(SEQ 5): COMMANDER ELLIOTT: "I'am here to give an assurance to the Suez Canal Authority that the Canal is a better place to operate. I'm not here to say to the Suez Canal Authority, or indeed to anyone else, that I consider the Suez Canal to be safe. I can give you my personal opinion and that it is a very safe place. But as far as the war risks and so on are involved, it is a matter for the Suez Canal to impose ;those risks or premiums once ;they have heard from people such as myself as to how I feel the operation has gone, and I would tell them in due course I am convinced, in my own mind, that the operation has ;been a resounding success, and that we have done our utmost to clear all the ordinance and all the other rubbish that was on the bottom of the seabed."
Initials BB/0250 AS/AW/BB/0215
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The world's safest waterway...that is the claim some people are now making about the Suez Canal. Having ben closed for several years, the famous water way linking the Mediterranean with the Rod Sea is due for reopening. The canal has been cleared of war debris ;by team from several Navies, including the United States, Britain and France. One Naval Officer estimated that over 42,000 pieces of military ordinance have been al ared from the water, including a complete French-built Mirage jet fighter aircraft, recovered only a few weeks ago.
On Wednesday (14 May) newsmen spoke to people responsible for the Canal clearance operation, and the Chief Pilot of the Suez Canal Authority, Kamal Hamza:
Reporters also spoke to Commander David Elliott of the British Royal Navy: