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Canada - The Suez Experience

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Canada - The Suez Experience

From Wikipedia

The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression,was a military attack on Egypt by Britain, France, and Israel beginning on 29 October 1956.

The attack followed Egypt's decision of 26 July 1956 to nationalize the Suez Canal, after the withdrawal of an offer by Britain and the United States to fund the building of the Aswan Dam, which was in response to Egypt recognizing the People's Republic of China during the height of tensions between China and Taiwan.

Despite having no commercial or military interest in the area, many countries were concerned with what might be a growing rift between Western allied nations. Canadian Lester B. Pearson, who would later become the Prime Minister of Canada, went to the United Nations and suggested creating a United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) in the Suez to "keep the borders at peace while a political settlement is being worked out." Both Britain and France rejected the idea, so Canada turned to the United States.

After several days of tense diplomacy, the United Nations accepted the suggestion, and a neutral force not involving the major alliances (NATO and the Warsaw Pact—though Canadian troops participated since Canada spearheaded the idea of a neutral force) was sent with the consent of Nasser, stabilizing conditions in the area. By April 24 of 1957 the canal was fully reopened to shipping. The Israelis refused to host any UN force on Israeli controlled territory. Pearson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for his efforts. The United Nations Peacekeeping Force was Pearson's creation and he is considered the father of the modern concept of "peacekeeping".


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