World Shippers Await Reopening: Idle for nearly eight years, the Suez- Canal is expected to be reopened to international traffic sometime this year - if all goes well. The strategic 103-mile inter-ocean waterway connecting the Red Sea with the Mediterranean has now been cleared of the mines and wreckage which has blocked it since the Six-Day War of 1967. The task of cleaning up the debris of war began last April and was completed in late December by a combined force of Egyptian, American, Soviet, British, and French salvage experts. Fifteen large sunken ships, nearly 100 smaller wrecks, and tens of thousands of explosives ranging from hand grenades to missiles were among the obstacles blocking the waterway. The cleanup completed, the canal is presently being dredged to scoop away the years of accumulated silt and sand which has filled in the bottom third of the channel. When this work is finished in March or April, the waterway will be fully navigable by ships of up to 60,000 tons.
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