Two views of the U.A.E.

Canadian irritation, American admiration


While the Canadian government is squabbling with the United Arab Emirates, the United States seems to value highly the tiny Persian Gulf nation as a key Arab ally. U.S. diplomatic notes, which are part of the massive WikiLeaks unwrapping of previously secret American government documents, describe the U.A.E. as a trusted, useful partner in a “rough and unforgiving neighbourhood.” American diplomats praise the U.A.E. for being willing to help out in regional trouble spots and for allowing U.S. military access to vital air bases. U.A.E. aid to Afghanistan and diplomatic outreach to Pakistan are also highlighted. But Stephen Harper’s Conservative government last year refused the U.A.E.’s request for more landing rights for its commercial airlines in Canada, leading the Arab state to cut off Canada’s use of a military base near Dubai, previously used as an important staging point for troops and supplies on their way to Afghanistan. As well, the U.A.E imposed new visa requirements on Canadian visitors. The rift between Ottawa and the U.A.E. also exposed a division in the Harper cabinet, with Defence Minister Peter MacKay arguing for more a more accommodating approach to the Arab country’s interests.

Toronto Star

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Two views of the U.A.E.

  1. Not much of a surprise there.

    Protectionist Harper really dropped the ball on the U.A.E. file.

  2. Notre cher Premier Ministre devrait plutôt être plus souple quant à son attitude concernant les relations avec ce pays U.A.E.

  3. Harper continues to focus on the UAE response to Canada's dishonest dealings concerning bilateral air talks. Canada jerked the UAE around for more than 3 years and led them to believe they would get greater access to Canadian airports. In reality they offered less than what is currently being operated by the UAE carriers at the end of that process. The UAE on the other hand provided Canada with a free base in Dubai for more than 9 years. When you patronize your friends and lie to them repeatedly, don't act surprised when they call you on it.
    Air Canada was happy to offer Emirates all of the flights they wanted in 2006 in exchange for half the profits. No talk of job loss in 2006. Now according to Air Canada it would cost thousands of Canadian jobs. Give me a break! There is no evidence to support the nonsense of their claims.
    Why is it that Emirates can operate to Australia and Qantas survived and many would argue actually improved it's product, but Emirates coming to Canada would destroy our illustrious national airline? It is all about choice and providiing Canadian consumers with options. If Air Canada can't cut it in the real world, let them go under and be done with it!

  4. Harper! Another ego trip of his that cost our country alot more than just relations with the U.A.E. He has cost us all alot of money,the move out of Mirage was said to be costing 300 million.When the final bill comes in in will be double to triple that I am sure.The trip for our soldiers to fly 10 hours straight in uncomfortable cargo plane is the icing on the cake.Instead of flying 3 hours out ,they now have to fly 10 hours! Yet the government wants to stay another 3 years which is fine,but to put the soldiers that have been here serving our country in that kind of brutal arrangement after the government screws up our great realations to a country that was soo genourous to Canada is ridiculous.Harper should wake up and try taking the trip he expects these men and women to do everday,because of his inability to solve something so simple.It would have been hundreds of millions cheaper to bail Air Canada out instead of shelling out for this move out of Mirage.Competition is something Air Canada needs,as their service is bottom of the bareel compared with other Internation Airlines.I am sure the country is proud of your inability to solve the simplist of matters!Get it together Man!!!

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