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The Suez Canal provided a passageway through which two thirds of Europe’s oil passed and, by connecting the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, reduced the journey by approximately 4,500 miles.
Though built by the French, opened in 1869 and jointly financed by France and Egypt, by 1875, the Canal had become a largely British affair after the United Kingdom's purchase of the Egyptian shares. The free passage through the canal was protected by the British under the Constantinople Convention signed in 1888 by all major European powers. Its management was assured by the Suez Canal Company. The subsequent guarantee of the canal’s neutrality was the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936.
698 - Construction of Suez Canal - Engraving
541 - Plans for the conquest of the Sinai - 1956
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