26 July, 1956
President Gamal Abdel Nasser announces nationalisation of Suez Canal. LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0President Nasser's announcement followed the refusal by the United States and Britain to help fund the Aswan Dam project. They blamed the state of the Egyptian economy but most observers believe it had more to do with Egypt's decision to recognise China and buy weapons from Sovietcontrolled Czechoslovakia. LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0 LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0
1 August, 1956
Britain US and France hold talks on rapid escalation of Suez Crisis. The following day Britain mobilises armed forces.
16 August, 1956
International conference of 22 nations held in London on Suez Crisis. President Nasser refuses to attend. LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0Although no communique is issued at the end of the conference 18 nations agree a way forward based on the idea of international management of the canal.
9 September, 1956
Nasser rejects plans for international management of the canal after visit by Australian PM Robert Menzies.
12 September, 1956
Britain France and US say they are going ahead with plans for a Suez Canal Users Association despite Egypts rejection.
1 October, 1956
Suez Canal Users Association SCUA officially launched.
5 October, 1956
United Nations Security Council meets to discuss endorsing SCUA but no vote taken.
24 October, 1956
Protocol of Sevres signed in Paris in secret by Britain France and Israel. LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0Britain France and Israel agree a plan codenamed Operation Musketeer to invade Egypt. Israel is to attack the Egyptian Army near the canal as a pretext for military intervention by Britain and France. Israel had been angered by crossborder raids from the Sinai peninsula and it also wanted to break the Arab blockade of the Gulf of Aqaba to win a secure outlet to Asia and Africa from its port of Eilat.
29 October, 1956
Israel invades Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula and troops progress towards the canal zone.
31 October, 1956
Britain and France begin bombing campaign to force reopening of the canal. Nasser responds by sinking 40 ships.
2 November, 1956
First emergency meeting of United Nations General Assembly to discuss Suez. LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0Calls for an immediate ceasefire are vetoed by Britain and France which claim to be acting as a "police force" in international interests. Canadian Minister for External Affairs Lester Pearson proposes a United Nations Emergency Force UNEF to secure the peace in Egypt. The United States is also anxious for peace with pressure mounting over the Hungarian uprising and a looming presidential election.
5 November, 1956
AngloFrench forces land at Port Said. LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0At Gamil airfield 668 British paratroopers were dropped and 470 French paratroopers landed at two bridges on the canal at Rawsa after the UN ultimatum for agreement to a ceasefire expires. LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0 LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0
7 November, 1956
UN ceasefire comes into force after more pressure from US. LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0Britain and France finally agree to a UN ceasefire after pressure from international community led by the US which refuses to shore up a struggling British £. AngloFrench forces claim to have occupied most of the canal zone as far as Ismailia when the truce comes into force. Thirteen countries have by now signed up to the UNEF. Commanders plan for UN troops to arrive in Egypt within days.
21 November, 1956
First United Nations troops land at Port Said.
23 November, 1956
Under further pressure from the US Britain reluctantly agrees to begin military withdrawal from Eygpt.
23 December, 1956
British and French troops complete withdrawal. LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0The UNEF takes control of the Suez Canal as British and French troops complete their withdrawal. Egyptians celebrate in Port Said chanting "Long live Nasser". LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0
9 January, 1957
British Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden resigns citing ill health but widely believed to have quit over Suez. LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0The Prime Minister announces his resignation saying he has been advised by doctors to take more rest. At the height of the Suez Crisis he went abroad to recuperate after falling ill. Although he retains his personal popularity his reputation as a statesman has been badly damaged by the Suez Crisis and his resignation seems inevitable. LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0
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