Skip to comments.Dubai presses on with port takeover
Posted on 03/09/2006 5:53:50 AM PST by KJC1
DUBAI (Reuters) - Dubai Ports is pressing ahead with a takeover that gives it control of six major U.S. ports despite a Congress committee vote to block the deal, sources familiar with the deal said on Thursday.
Government and company officials in the United Arab Emirates declined comment on Wednesday's vote by U.S. lawmakers to block the deal on the grounds that handing the ports over to a Gulf Arab state-owned firm would threaten U.S. national security.
But the sources said the vote had not taken Dubai Ports any closer to relinquishing the six ports at the center of a political firestorm.
"The vote in the House of Representatives has not change anything in that respect. We are not at that point," one Dubai-based source said.
Analysts said the political furor was bound to provoke businesses in the world's biggest oil exporting region, which is an increasingly important source of financing for the huge U.S. current account deficit.
"It's American double standards. Do you think that businesses and governments here won't react and even retaliate?" said Wadah Al Taha of the National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
He said the issue was likely to feature prominently in trade talks later this month between the United States and the UAE, a federation of seven emirates that includes Dubai.
The Dubai Ports row has reinforced fears in the Middle East that investments in the United States have become politically risky for Arabs and Muslims. Some Arabs say the U.S. opposition to the deal smacks of racism.
Some U.S. politicians say the UAE has in the past been sympathetic to Islamist militants, noting that two of the September 11 hijackers came from that country.
President George W. Bush, however, says the UAE is a staunch ally in the U.S. war on terrorism and he has vowed to veto any legislation that would block the ports deal.
Wednesday's 62-2 vote, by the House Appropriations Committee, will be followed next week by another vote by the full House of Representatives.
Dubai Ports officials said they were pushing ahead with plans to integrate British ports group P&O which runs the U.S. ports. A Dubai Ports spokesman said the company would soon announce the de-listing of P&O now that shareholders had approved the $6.8 billion takeover.
Dubai Ports Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem and Chief Executive Mohammed Sharaf fly to London this week to discuss integration of the two companies which make up the world's third largest ports group.
"We are evaluating the situation," Bin Sulayem said.
The UAE is a close ally of Washington and a frequent port of call for American warships. Concerns are growing that the fallout from the ports row will affect U.S. economic ties with the Gulf.
UAE Economy Minister Sheikha Lubna al-Qassimi said last week the furor could prompt other countries to divert funds away from the United States.
American businesses in the UAE warned on Wednesday that trade worth more than $8 billion between the United States and the United Arab Emirates could be in jeopardy.
My vivid imagination can see this as a shakedown orchestrated by the Clintons.
The MSM mantra lie continues. They are not going to control the ports.
Oppose the port deal, fine. But it is not a 'takeover.'
Agreed. I'm surprised they didn't say port "sale" too.
Typical media semantic hocus-pocus. Much like when Republicans "take control" versus Democrats "win control".
Dubai presses on with
port P&O Ports takeover, a British based company with over 85 port operations in 19 countries around the world.
I admit it...I am a racist...I don't like Islamonazis...
Sounds like typical Arab blackmail to me. Now it seems we MUST give them these contracts or they will bee "humiliated" and "insulted" and will retaliate.
News flash: it is as impossible to truly insult an arab as it is to insult a dog.
Two Words: Bring. It. On.
We might also ask, where else are they going to sell their oil ?
It is not necessarily "blackmail." It is common sense. If the situation was reversed and they put up a stink about us operating port terminals there, don't you think we'd be less inclined to do business with them in the future?
Indeed, but that doesn't lessen concerns, not just for trade but for saftey of our ships and military assets in the region. I'm more concerned about the safety of our forces than anything else. We have a lot of stuff piled up over there.
News flash: Good thing you're not running our Republic.
That's three words.
The American public and Congress says "ah ha" I knew they were taking over complete ports. The media has completely brain washed the public and Congress into believing a total falsehood.
The antis have defined the terminology falsely and the majority has bought into it.
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