Monday, March 13, 2006

UAE threatens US over ports deal

Ah, those feisty Arabs.

Roxana Tiron, in an article in today’s The Hill, the Washington DC-based newspaper “For and About the US Congress,” is reporting that the family-owned government of Dubai is threatening to retaliate against the US if this ports deal does not go down the way they want it.

Specifically, they may pull authorization for the US Navy’s porting privileges in this strategic area (see map). Further, they are applying pressure on Boeing, which is involved in several lucrative deals with the UAE:

“It is not clear how much of Dubai’s behind-the-scenes anger would be followed up by action, but Boeing has been made aware of the threat and is already reportedly lobbying to save the ports deal.

“The Emirates Group airline will decide later this year whether it will buy Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner or its competitor, Airbus A350. The airline last fall placed an order worth $9.7 billion for 42 Boeing 777 aircraft, making Dubai Boeing’s largest 777 customer.”

This really makes for some great arguments about free trade vs. freedom from terrorism, doesn’t it?

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