The Suez crisis was a conflict that could have easily turned into a third World War. With a battle between the Israelis and Egyptians at Sinai, the British and French invasion of Egypt, and nuclear threats from the Soviet Union, all of the elements were present to escalate the conflict and pull other countries into the fray. Canada had no direct ties to the Suez crisis, in terms of control or economic interest. However, Canadian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Lester B. Pearson, persuaded the UN General Assembly to send in the United Nations Emergency Force. Even though Lester B. Pearson dismayed the Commonwealth with his measures for peace, Canada was recognized for starting the first ever United Nations Peacekeeping mission.
In the 1950s the Middle East was affected by four different conflicts; each one separate, but relating in many ways. The first was the rush for geopolitical dominance between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The Middle East was one of the regions that were disputed. The second confrontation was between a various Arabian nationalists against the two residual Imperial powers of Britain and France. The third was the ongoing Arab-Israeli dispute, and the fourth was the push by many Arab nations for the control of the Arab world. The tension over the Suez Canal began long before the actual combat. These four conflicts all came into focus during the Suez Canal crisis.
Long before the Second World War, Britain saw a bright economic future for the Middle East, mostly due to its valuable oil reserves. The Canal was a vital trade route in the eastern world, as cargo ships could pass though the Suez, from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, without circumnavigating Africa. The Suez Canal's geo-strategic importance during the Cold War prompted Britain to strengthen its position there. However, it became a topic of controversy in the English and Egyptian relations.
On June 23, 1956 an ultra-nationalist by the...
Bibliography: BBC Documentary. "The Other Side of Suez." Youtube. Video file, 55:59. July 22, 2012. Accessed May 19, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETOUALw2EIs.
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